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Imation Sets Out To Cure Rewritable DVD Ills

Imation is looking to do its part to alleviate consumer confusion over the wide variety of rewritable DVD formats found at retail.

Wayne Newton, Imation’s North American sales manager, said last month at Comdex that Imation is developing programs with retailers and DVD burner drive vendors to clarify the blank DVD situation for consumers.

“People are very confused and we have started a major initiative to fix this,” Newton said.

On the retail side, this will consist of additional signage to educate consumers on the correct type of blank media they need to purchase for their system, and Imation would like its discs merchandised in the same area as the hardware. The company also has new packaging that uses colors to clearly differentiate the different types of media available.

Another potential solution, Newton said, would be to bundle blank media with the DVD burners. While some manufacturers already do this, a wider program is needed, Newton said. This way the proper media type immediately will be imprinted on the end user when he or she opens the package.

These measures are needed soon, he added, because rewritable DVD is rapidly growing in popularity. Imation expects DVD revenue to surpass CD by 2005 with unit sales growing 300 percent starting next year with a corresponding 50 percent drop is pricing.

Another expected trend is the average selling price of CD-R media finally leveling off after dropping for several years.