Are music-specific DVDs a meaningful source of revenue? It depends on who you ask. The segment continued to grow in the United States last year, edging up 3.9 percent to 21.5 million units in 2005. That figure, revealed by Nielsen Entertainment at the second annual Music DVD Conference in Los Angeles this week, accounts for about 2.7 percent of overall label revenues. That is encouraging for the record industry, even though audio CDs command the greatest share of the action by far. But moving forward, a collection of formats - including ringtones, digital downloads, CDs, subscription services, and DVDs - are diversifying the label revenue pie, and every contributor matters. Meanwhile, CD/DVD combination DualDiscs also assumed a greater share of the action, moving past 9.7 million units, and 15 percent of all new music discs purchased.
But for Hollywood and DVD retailers, the action on music-related DVDs is mostly negligible, dwarfed by movie titles. And that cash cow is starting to plateau, creating some anxiety within major studios. Interestingly, theatrical releases have now become a prelude to more meaty, DVD sales, getting the ball rolling on big blockbusters. Now, the pressure is on Hollywood to create some massive smashes after a lackluster year, and re-energize sagging consumer interest. And on the horizon are a range of video-on-demand (VOD) choices, which could shake-up both movie and music video viewing habits. The Music DVD Conference is produced by Home Media Retailing in partnership with The Hollywood Reporter, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and the Video Software Dealers Association.