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In TV DVD Land, Boxed Sets Rule

8 Nov, 2004 By: Thomas K. Arnold

By the end of this year, a record 433 multidisc DVD sets of TV shows will have been released to retail, a whopping 70 percent gain from 2003, according to a new study from The DVD Release Report.

At the same time, the number of single-disc TV titles fell 18 percent, from 316 in 2003 to 260 in 2004, underscoring the swift shift toward “complete season” sets.

The biggest growth was seen in the three-or-more-discs category, with the number of releases by year-end 2004 likely to double to 326.

“Consumers like complete sets, but there's more to it than that,” said Ralph Tribbey, the weekly tip sheet's editor and publisher. “Retailers have better margins, which gives them more of an incentive to stock these sets, particularly at a time when shelf space is under pressure.”

Single-discs of TV shows are on the decline, he said, for various reasons. “A lot of the single-disc stuff is public domain. There are already so many compilation discs out there that retailers don't want or need another.”

“And the price is also an issue. If I'm going to give up shelf space at retail, I'm going to want to bring in something that benefits me, not something that lists for $4.99.”

Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen recently predicted the TV DVD category will grow at an annual rate of 30 percent, topping out at a projected $3.9 billion by 2008.Tribbey believes those numbers could be right on the mark,

although he predicts a “moderation of the number of SKUs hitting the market” and stronger sales for the titles that are released.

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