The Digital Download

gazing at the digital video horizon

Archive for December 2008

What’s New Video Digital?

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New Video's first store on Macdougal Street in the Village around 1982


LogoWelcome to New Video Digital. Here’s some ancient history– worth skipping unless you’d like to know something about the company’s DNA for whatever reasons.

We’re part of a bigger company (called New Video Group) that’s been around, in one form or another, since the first video revolution in the early eighties. Back then it took two people to lift the Betamax out of the shipping carton onto the snazy new media center that housed your brand new 19 inch Sony TV. This early version of New Video was a Manhattan based video shop catering to downtowners stopping by to pick up their weekend videos before heading off to Danceteria or the Mud Club. The excitement and the sense of discovery was infectious.

New Video’s first store was on Macdougal Street in New York City. The store was staffed by NYU film students who could, on-the-fly, dub in the dialog to Scorcese’s Raging Bull with the TV’s sound turned down to slack-jawed customers. Stocked with every foreign and black and white film that was out on videocassette as well a steady flow of Hollywood’s stock and trade the store quickly earned a reputation as the video store worth taking a taxi to.

The original Macdougal Street storefront was seven cast-iron steps down into low-ceilinged room that was nine feet across at it widest point. Within months a second store was in the planning. Over the early years the chain grew to five Manhattan locations.The retail chapter of New Video ended before the decade faded when the chain was sold to the then up-and-coming Vestron Entertainment.

It took a few years for New Video to be reconstituted as a distributor of independent and alternative videos. Starting out with some great foreign films and documentaries Newest Video believed that television and video could be collaborators instead of competitors becoming the exclusive distributor for the A&E cable network. Over the next ten years the company slowly and steadily grew to become one of the leading suppliers of independent content first on videocassettes and, then, on DVDs. As A&E launched The History Channel, New Video added their programs and series. Acquisitions of diverse yet collectible properties such as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Avengers, Homicide kept us busy and relevant to our customers.

In 2000 Docurama Films was launched as the first and only DVD label dedicated exclusively to independent documentaries. We had been going to the Sundance Film Festival and were blown away by the quality, freshness and great storytelling. We wondered if independent documentaries could be finally be ready for broad commercial success. We started meeting with the filmmakers and premiered the line with one of our favorite films, D.A. Pennebaker’s Bob Dylan Don’t Look Back. Since then we’ve released over 200 classic and cutting edge docs. If you’re a fan of documentaries link to Docurama Films and browse to your heart’s content.

Over the last six years we have also have been releasing a line in partnership with Scholastic of bestselling children’s books translated through animation and celebrity voice readings. Recently we’ve had a hit with the Scholastic Treasury of 100 Children’s Stories. This sixteen DVD box set is a behemoth but a great gift and a perennial best seller at shops like Amazon and Costco.

In 2007 New Video dove into the nascent next revolution of digital downloads, rentals and streaming markets. We are a leading supplier of broad libraries of films and television properties to iTunes, Amazon, Xbox and other emerging platforms. This blog is dedicated to those interested in watching the flow of non-Hollywood movies and shows onto these new platforms. We see ourselves as a partner to content libraries bringing their works to market in thoughtful and strategic ways. We also see ourselves as curators for these emerging virtual shops. We hope to help provide, as we did in our very first store,  a great selection of award-winning, intelligent and sought after stories both fictional and documentary that will entertain and help us understand our crazy world. Welcome and stay in touch.

Written by newvideogroup

December 11, 2008 at 1:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized