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Portable Player to Be Bundled With DVDs

7 Aug, 2003 By: Kurt Indvik

Shipping software with new PCs is nothing new to the computer business, but in home entertainment, it's just started catching on in the last year or so, mostly game consoles with free games. Now, Mintek Digital, a maker of portable DVD players, is putting together deals with content companies so that buyers of a Mintek machine can open up the box and start playing DVDs right away.

Mintek is working with Ardustry Home Entertainment for a program set to reach retail shelves for the “Black Friday” day after Thanksgiving -- the biggest single day for the sale of electronics. Ardustry will include a pack of five titles from its library with select Mintek players. Meanwhile, Ardustry also will produce a “sampler” featuring segments from its new DVD magazines Sex, Y & Z and Maxx'D Out, along with music videos and other entertainment and promotional items to be included with certain Mintek portable units. Each of these programs is designed for as-yet-unspecified retail channels, and prices have yet to be finalized.

“The PC industry is always looking for ways to add value, and the easiest way to do that is with software. The entertainment industry is no different,” said Bill Daugherty, director of marketing for Mintek. “We think this will be a great added value for consumers who can have something to play the minute they open the box.”

“We're very excited to be developing some co-marketing strategies with Mintek,” said Ardustry CEO Cheryl Freeman. “This plays into our strengths, in terms of where we're going on the technical side. Many of our DVDs are highly interactive, and most have DVD-ROM capabilities.”

Freeman said Ardustry will create a family package of five theatrical titles for certain types of retail accounts and another for mature audiences -- both bundled with the player.

Mintek's portable DVD players have been on the market for about two years, said Daugherty, and are sold at a broad spectrum of retailers, including Best Buy, Target and Costco. The players come with 5-, 5.8-, 7- or 8-inch screens.

Mintek will also be developing a bundled program with Image Entertainment for the fourth quarter. In this particular program, Mintek will bundle together Mintek portable players with a set of headphones and enclose a rebate coupon from Image inside the box for $5 off the purchase of any one of five boxed sets, or $20 off if you buy two boxed sets. The titles are: All Thumbs: The Complete Collection, The Twilight Zone Collection Vols. 1-5, Charlie Chaplin Short Comedy Classics, IMAX Big Picture Boxed Set and The Stephen Sondheim Collection. Image confirmed that the program will run first in Borders stores.

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