Page 3: The launch
The launch of new high-tech products is always challenging, particularly when the product is aiming to replace a near universal product such as the video recorder, but the UK DVD market has made a much stronger start than expected. A key factor in the popularity of DVD has been the mass availability of software via retail and rental outlets.
There are also problems in the market. One problem is that film producers and distributors want to control the release of home movies. This is because the films themselves are released at different times around the world. Until now, this has been achieved by coding the videos or discs so that they can be played only on certain machines in different parts of the world. For example, discs sold in the USA cannot be played on machines sold in Europe. Non region-specific hardware products have proved particularly popular, although there may yet be legal implications to this development.
What has Samsung done to market DVD?
As the DVD players and discs are in joint demand, Samsung has been active in forging links with software manufacturers. The cross fertilisation of information between the two producers has given the retailers, dealers and consumers greater confidence in the new product. Attempts have been made to develop marketing partnerships with software retailers so that they stock Samsung DVD players. Most DVD players are distributed through multiple retailer channels.
Extensive above the line marketing has been employed, such as advertising in the specialist and consumer press, emphasising the benefits of DVD technology. Samsung has tried to encourage journalists in both hardware and software consumer magazines to run reviews and has placed ‘advertorials’ - editorial advertisements which provide ample descriptions of all facets of the product. Samsung is also promoting its product by developing sampler discs which are given away free on the covers of selected film magazines. Consumers are encouraged to take these to a retailer in order to try them out in a Samsung player. If the consumer subsequently buys a DVD player, he can claim up to six free DVDs supplied by the software manufacturers.
For net surfers, DVD screen savers are being developed by a marketing consultant. They can be downloaded to a PC from various film websites. The sites also explain the benefits of DVD technology. Increased publicity has come from cinemas through staged DVD events. At such events, the major software manufacturers screen the latest blockbusters. The cinemas screen DVD adverts and distribute promotional information and merchandise. TFT flat screen monitors
As one of the largest mass producers of thin-film transistor (TFT) flat screen monitors, Samsung has been able to control every stage of the development and production process. Based on liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, these new monitors provide superior image quality, with sharper definition.
The biggest disadvantages of conventional CRT screens are that they take up a great deal of room on any work station and consume a lot of power. TFT monitors, on the other hand, can be viewed from a wider range of angles and are both lightweight and space saving, with lower power consumption. They also emit less harmful radiation and there is a reduced risk of CVS (computer vision syndrome), a condition caused by over-exposure to older CRT monitors whose performance has not been regulated by the latest safety standards. Symptoms of CVS can include burning eyes, blurred vision and headaches and may affect up to 15 million people.