Warner Home Video Announces DVD Rental Program

April 8, 1998

Commits DVD Titles Plus DVD Players andPromotional Support to Video Rental Market

Warner Home Video, a Time Warner Entertainment Company, today announced a DVD rental program to begin next month in five test market cities -- Dallas, Philadelphia, Portland, Richmond and San Francisco.

The DVD Rental Program is designed to provide video retailers with a low-cost, low-risk opportunity to participate in the DVD business. The program will help video rental retailers share the DVD experience with their consumers and establish themselves as the local source for DVD.

"DVD is expected to be in a million homes by early 1999," said Thomas Lesinski, WHV senior vice-president, marketing and development. "The rapid growth in DVD households now makes DVD rental a viable business opportunity for rental retailers."

Warner Home Video, along with its distributed labels including MGM Home Entertainment, New Line Home Video and HBO Home Video, has partnered with major hardware manufacturers to provide a selection of three DVD hardware/software starter kits, each tailored to meet individual retailer needs.Each package includes between 40 and 100 different titles. The kits include:

Package A: Package B: Package C:
8 DVD players 4 DVD players 2 DVD players
(with rental cases) (with rental cases) (with rental cases)
180 software units 90 software units 45 software units

The DVD Rental Program will be supported by extensive consumer advertising including television, magazines and newspapers. Additionally, comprehensive point-of-purchase promotional materials have been designed to build awareness of DVD rental in participating stores.

DVD, offering improved picture and sound quality, convenience, exciting features, viewing options and an affordable price, was launched in test markets in March 1997 and rolled out nationwide in August. In DVD's first year, about 500,000 DVD players were sold to retailers and 340,000 DVD players were sold to consumers, making DVD's launch more successful than that of the CD or VCR.

More than 1,000 DVD titles are available from nearly every major studio and the number of titles is expected to pass 2,000 by year end.

Initial DVD Rental Starter Kits in the five test markets can only be ordered through May 31, 1998. Warner Home Video currently plans a national rollout of the DVD Rental Program later this summer.

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