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Tuning In to Music Product

6 Apr, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf


Visits to Southern California Tower Records, Virgin Megastore and Best Buy locations revealed a bounty of music DVD product, with plenty of new, hot releases on the rack, but a surprising variety of titles. Recent Grammy queen Norah Jones' new DVD, Live in New Orleans, took center stage in music DVD merchandising last week.

The main reason these retailers do music DVD a little bit better than the mass merchants is the sheer breadth of product.

At Tower, row after row of alphabetically stacked music DVD titles, from the Beatles to Styx, had dedicated shelving sandwiched between a low-priced VHS dump bin and the rest of the DVD section. New or best-selling music DVD releases labeled “music to your eyes and ears” shared space with hot theatrical hits on a front-door-facing endcap. Newer releases, best-sellers and boxed sets lined the shelves above the flip-through alphabetical racks. Signage on a store display devoted to DVD touted “Hits -- No music, no life.” There was little crossmerchandising of CD, DVD-Audio and music DVD at Tower last week, aside from an 8-Mile-themed endcap nearby, which carried DVDs of the film alongside several Eminem and Xzibit CDs.

Virgin also boasted a wide variety of titles, with one side of a shelf in the DVD section devoted to music product. There were no music DVD titles merchandised on any of the store's many endcaps or new-release displays, though a small shelf above the alpabetical selection featured copies of Norah Jones: Live in New Orleans and the Freddy Mercury Tribute Concert 10th Anniversary Edition DVD. Titles are racked spine-out at Virgin, with selections like Janet Jackson: Live in Hawaii, Paul McCartney: Back in the U.S. and several Ozzy Osbourne DVDs highlighted face-front.

All three retailers separated DVD-Audio from music DVD, though Best Buy kept things closer with its DVD Music/Musicals section. The bottom three rows of racks stocked with musicals like Moulin Rouge and West Side Story were devoted to DVD-Audio, all stocked spine out.

Last week, Best Buy integrated copies of A Hard Day's Night and Yellow Submarine, specially priced at $19.99, in shelving with Beatles music DVD titles, including the multi-disc set The Beatles Anthology on sale for $47.99.

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