Bye bye, Video Business

Posted in DVD, journalism trends by Diane on January 6, 2010

The most amazing thing about Video Business is that it lasted as long as it did.

By the time I worked there in the late ’90s, the mom and pop era of videostores was already over. The battle between Hollywood Video and Blockbuster, which I wrote about for the L.A. Times, was well under way and DVD sales at big box stores were taking further toll on the indies. And these indies were the raison d’etre  for the video trades, subsidized as they have always been by studio product ads.

With fewer retailers to deal with — and direct relationships with the big chains — studios had less reason to spring for those ads. Video Business tried to reposition itself — envisioning studio execs and those toiling in emerging technologies as a broader expanded audience — without much success.

The parent company saw the writing on the wall years ago: When I requested additional resources for the website, the then head of the company likened VB to a broken down old car. And this was before the DVD market started to falter.

Still, VB persisted under various RBI regime changes. Brass trimmed costs where it could, but the past year was clearly a struggle. When RBI announced last week it was going to start shuttering mags it could not sell, I immediately thought of VB.

Despite all that, the actual shuttering seemed sudden. The Jan. 4 edition was the last. Home Media Magazine, the one I always thought would be the first to go, ended up the survivor.


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