Distributors can significantly boost their revenues byallowing publishers to offer 'free' copies of DVDs in magazines, Screen's DVD:The Home Cinema Summit heard yesterday.
Farfrom destroying a film's library value, giving away copies of a DVD in magazinecan also significantly boost sales in the months following the promotion.
In Germany, magazines that offer readers free DVDs havebecome a publishing phenomenon in recent months. Consumer title Audio VideoFoto Bild launched in December 2003, and already sells a phenomenal 660,000copies - partly by offering DVDs to its readers.
VCL chief executive officer Datty Ruth said that his companyalready produces two million DVDs a month for the magazine market, and that heis in negotiation with about ten more publishers about supplying films.
By way of example, Ruth said that if he charged Euros.0.25per DVD to a magazine selling one million copies, he would make Euros 250,000."It's a pure windfall," he said - particularly if he picked a film that wascoming to the end of its licence period with VCL.
At this point, A-Films managing director San Fu Malthaquestioned whether 'digging for gold' in the short term with such a strategywould affect the future library worth of the DVD.
Ruth explained that he had been pleasantly surprised to findthat the opposite was true. In February 2004, he struck a deal with AudioVideo Foto magazine to carry a copy of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow."In March, I had reorders for Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow was sellingagain'When I saw the figures, I thought my computer was broken," joked Ruth.
He said that sales had doubled, and sometimes quadrupled, inthe months after a DVD appeared in a magazine.