Mission Kim Possible: This Disney DVD will self-destruct in 48 hours…
Disney movies on disposable DVDs arrived in pharmacies, convenience stores and other outlets last month in a four-city test to find out if consumers will latch onto the new format. The disposable DVD, known as ez-D, was created by New York-based Flexplay, and it works in any standard DVD player. Once the red disks are opened, exposure to oxygen makes them slowly turn black over the course of 48 hours, rendering them unplayable and ready to be recycled.
Toys ‘R’ Us, Circle K and Walgreens are among the chains that will be selling the DVDs, distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, for US$6.99 (SRP). Because the disks never have to be returned, the potential may soon exist for any retailer to compete with rental outlets like Blockbuster.
Activision taps the Marvel source
If you want to do something properly, go to the man himself. Video game producer Activision has signed on legendary Marvel veteran Stan Lee to act as a consultant on the company’s Marvel Entertainment licensed titles. Lee will work closely with different studio divisions during production, consulting on design as well as story and character development.
In January, Activision and Marvel announced they had signed a multi-year extension of their current video game licensing agreement that includes characters like Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Iron Man through to 2009. Activision also gained the rights to develop games based on any upcoming movies or TV adaptations involving the characters.
Universal drops music prices to battle market slump
In an effort to drive music lovers back into stores and combat a reported one-third drop in music sales over the past three years, Universal Music Group has decided to slash suggested retail prices on its top-line CDs from US$18.98 to US$12.98.
UMG, which accounts for approximately one-third of all album sales in the U.S., also plans to ramp up on its direct-to-consumer advertising. The label’s roster includes such artists as Ashanti, blink-182, Eminem, 50 Cent, Shania Twain and U2, and the new prices will also apply to UMG’s catalogue of classic recordings from artists like ABBA, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana.
‘Our new pricing model will enable U.S. retailers to offer music at a much more appealing price point in comparison to other entertainment products,’ says Jim Urie, president of Universal Music and Video Distribution. ‘We are confident this pricing approach will drive music fans back into retail stores.’