Warner DVD catalog prices dropping in 2001

Warner Home Video plans to incorporate a major reduction in DVD catalog prices in its Spotlight 2001 sellthrough promotion. The studio, which currently has 65 titles listing for $14.98 each, could take prices below $10, said Mike Saksa, features marketing V.P.

Catalog, always more profitable than direct-to-sellthrough ‘A’ titles, has taken on greater importance now that box office hits are often earmarked for rental revenue-sharing programs. One likely exception is Warner’s The Perfect Storm. ‘I didn’t say [it’s] for sellthrough—yet,’ Saksa said.

The problem is that DVD owners are ‘A’-title addicts. ‘We’ve seen a real slowdown in catalog sales since DVD first came around,’ said WaxWorks V.P. Kirk Kirkpatrick. ‘Retailers got their 100 titles to fill their libraries and then just started buying new releases.’ ‘Warner will do ‘a lot better’ on pricing to boost catalog demand,’ Saksa promised. DVD prices have been dropping, but nowhere near as fast as players, which he predicted could slide to $100 or less for low-end models in the fourth quarter. Kmart has denied speculation it would offer a $75 unit this holiday season. Warner anticipates 14 million machines in American homes by year’s end.

Once again, any news that promises price reductions is good news indeed.

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