So Sony decided to draw people into the market with low-price units. By last June, Sony products accounted for two of the top five DVD players-the 560 ($300) model ranked third with 6.3% of the market, and the DVP-S360 ($250) took the top spot with 11.3%, according to NPD IntelectMarket Tracking. The 560 is giving way to a line priced below $250, and a new DVD Style3 Cube in the $300 range targets the younger, style-conscious audience.
Sony's marketing initiatives have created fertile ground for the industry, says Bill Cubellis, 46, director of marketing for Component A/V Solutions, and a 15-year Sony veteran. In 2000, it partnered with Sony sibling Columbia Tri-Star to offer free DVDs with the purchase of a player, as well as Viacom's Blockbuster Video for rent-one/get-one offers with the purchase of a player. Targeting the high-end consumer, Sony paired up with Warren Miller Films, a producer of extreme sports movies.