Time Warner drops DVD prices in Japan

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TOKYO--Time Warner Entertainment Japan plans to drop the retail price of its DVDs for the Japanese market to $23.50 in a move that should bring down the retail price of all DVDs in the world's second largest media market.

DVDs in Japan have been priced from $32 to $47, but Time Warner's Japan unit got the ball rolling toward cheaper prices this spring when it dropped prices on 40 titles to $23.50 for popular movies such as "Lethal Weapon 4" and "The Matrix."

"A drop in DVD prices should help make the medium more attractive to Japanese consumers," a Time Warner Japan spokesman says.

The company is thinking of a further DVD price drop to $18.80. It has 132 titles available for the Japanese market with "The Matrix" being one of its top sellers.

Japan's DVD market started to take off this spring with the launch of Sony's PlayStation2 game machine, which is also capable of playing DVDs.

According to industry estimates, DVD sales in Japan in 2000 will triple form a year earlier and hit about $1 billion.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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