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HP Adds DVD Content Partners

Palo Alto, Calif. — Hewlett-Packard has reached licensing agreements with 30 content providers for more than 4,000 movie, television, documentary and other video titles for production and distribution via the HP Video Merchant Services

Launched earlier this year, the services are designed to enable retailers to offer DVDs that are manufactured on demand or prepackaged, and to offer digital downloads of popular, specialty and niche video programming.

HP said the newly signed agreements will enable it to significantly expand its content offerings, as it moves to accomplish a stated goal of “building one of the largest catalogs of licensed commercial video available.”

The content licensers include: Arts Alliance America, First Look Studios, Gaiam Americas Inc., Nelvana Enterprises and Venevision International Films.

“These agreements mark significant progress for the entertainment industry, allowing content providers to further monetize their assets,” stated Willem de Zoete, HP digital entertainment services VP and GM. “It’s equally exciting for HP’s retail partners and their customers as they now have access to a broader array of DVD content manufactured on demand.”

HP described its Video Merchant Services as providing aggregation, merchandising and fulfillment of commercial video content, enabling retailers to address the growing consumer demand for greater selection of titles, improved online shopping experiences and multiple media formats. The services also enable the wider distribution of specialty and niche content.

“As a leading independent studio, First Look strives to offer independent film makers the best opportunities to reach their audiences as cost effectively as possible,” said Dean Wilson, COO, First Look Studios. “Given HP’s extensive experience in IT and management of digital assets, I believe they are well positioned to lead the entertainment industry in providing a service that promises more effective production and distribution of specialty content.”

In addition to the latest license agreements, HP has also signed agreements with Anthem Pictures, Azteca International, Bennett Media Worldwide, Cinequest, Film Chest, Inspired Studios, Janson Media, Lightworks Program Distribution, Media Blasters, Monarch Films, Mukta Arts Limited, MVD Entertainment Group, Opper Sports, Santa Fe Productions, Seedsman Group, Smooth Motion Pictures, Starlight Home Entertainment, Tai Seng Entertainment, TLA Releasing, UTV Communications, V.I.E.W. Video, Vanguard Cinema, Wink Productions, Wolfe Video and World Events Products.

HP said content currently being targeted for release includes classic and older TV shows never before released on DVD; foreign movies; specialty genres such as religion, education, lifestyle, health, food and sports; specialty cable TV programming; independent movies; and recently broadcast TV shows and sporting events that have high relevancy in specific geographic markets or with specific consumer segments.