Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, August 17, 2021

There is a spectre haunting Europe… The spectre of free major motion picture DVDs, given away for free as European newspaper inserts, thus eroding their juicy market value:

The cover-mounted DVD giveaways, which have included Prizzi’s Honour and Donnie Darko, devalue the format in the eyes of consumers, one-quarter of whom said they would have bought the same title if they had seen it in shops for a reasonable price, according to a report released on Thursday…

“It’s clear that that kind of quantity of free discs circulating in the market cannot help but have a dampening effect on the purchase of DVDs,” said Helen Davis Jayalath, Screen Digest’s senior home entertainment analyst.

Newspapers in other European countries, including Italy, France and Spain, also give away DVDs, but they typically charge an extra euro or two for the periodical when including one.

“Even though it’s only a couple of euros, it helps maintain the value of the format in the eyes of consumers,” Ms Jayalath said.

There are other markets where DVD giveaways have caused controversy. In Greece, for example, retailers have appealed to the government to ban cover-mounts after one Sunday newspaper distributed the hit “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and two discs with extra material over a five-week span.

Goodbye, reliable Hollywood cash cow. How long will it be before papers Stateside start using this stunt (hello, New York Post)? I guess it’ll hasten the moves toward digital delivery of movies.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/17/2006 11:52:25 PM
Category: Business, Movies, Publishing
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The recent record-setting leveraged buyout of HCA has intoxicated moneymanagers with dreams of grandeur. Apparently, solely by virtue of the dollar amounts involved, a meme suggests that the now-privatized companies will not, as is typical private-equity strategy, re-enter the public arena.

It’s nonsense, of course. Just because cheap lending rates make massive buyouts possible now doesn’t mean that will stay the same indefinitely — in fact, it’s likely to be relatively short-lived. Market capitalizations will get hot again, and the cycle will swing back (and back again, ad infinitum).

Still, this last bit caught my eye:

“There is an institutionalization of private equity that has happened over the last few years,” [Banc of America Securities head Eric] Karp concluded.

“Particularly with the largest funds, where in effect private equity is not a pocket of capital, it is truly an alternative capital market,” he said. “That’s a fundamental change.”

In other words, private equity as an industry has reached critical mass, to the point where it’s as self-sustaining as a traditional monetary source — i.e., almost an economy unto itself. Again, false: Just because a lot of investment has been pumped into these funds doesn’t mean it’s going to be provided forever. But it’s an intriguing fantasy to ponder.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/17/2006 11:37:38 PM
Category: Business
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It’s been weeks since the “Barn Burner” episode of “My Name is Earl” aired.

And yet, I cannot get that joke about Earl and Randy living in the isles out of my mind.

Earl: Who knows? I might have been able to buy my very own tropical islands — The Earlhamas!

Yes, The Earlhamas. Where you can suck down pina earl-attas on the beach. That’s the life.

UPDATE: So enamoured am I by the idea of The Earlhamas, that I’ve gone ahead and created them (online). Be sure to pet the Earlosaurus!

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/17/2006 05:12:58 PM
Category: Comedy, TV
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