The changes in supermarket video rental have not gone unnoticed by the studios.
falling out of the rental business," said Andrew Kairey, executive vice president of MCA/Universal Home Video, Universal City, Calif.
However, there is a resurgence in the rental business this year, with revenues up 4% to 9%, according to various reports, said Kairey. Rentals of video games -- a big contributor to department revenues until last year -- also are making a comeback, he noted.
An increase in family-oriented video programming and more movies being released on video shortly after their theatrical run are contributing to these increases. As a result, new supermarket chains are getting into the business and some who have got out may come back in, said Kairey.
"People are evaluating opportunities and watching certain trends," he said. Several years from now, "I think you will see more players in than out," said Kairey.
According to a published report on a recent video industry conference, Matt Brown, vice president of sales at Buena Vista Home Video, Burbank, Calif., presented research showing supermarkets were rapidly getting out of the rental business. But Brown's presentation was misinterpreted, said a Buena Vista spokesman. There is no such research, he said.
"There is no information either up or down about the supermarket share of the video rental business," said the spokesman.