Warner Home Video announced Tuesday that it has struck a five-year deal with Eagle Rock Entertainment to develop, acquire and distribute music DVDs — a burgeoning element of the DVD boom.
The alliance is part of a strategy on the part of Warner to aggressively expand its home video offerings beyond the feature film genre to capture a larger segment of the overall market.

At a joint press conference held at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, the companies revealed their first music release: “Janet Jackson: Live in Hawaii,” which aired on HBO earlier this year and will hit stores in September.

“Eagle Rock Entertainment has proven to be the leading producer of live concerts from top recording artists throughout the world,” said Doug Wadleigh, vice president of special interests of Warner Home Video. “Their titles … will give us a big jump in our plan to strategically enter this category.”

Two years ago, Warner formed its special interest unit, which was charged with growing nonfeature video categories, including episodic television, animation, documentaries, sports and fitness. But clearly, the lucrative music market is the top priority of the unit.

“By getting involved, what we are trying to do is grow the music business as a whole, to benefit the consumer and to bring them into the world of DVD,” Wadleigh said. “This relationship really represents our first significant strategic alliance with a provider of music DVD content.”

The Janet Jackson DVD is loaded with extra features, including behind-the-scenes footage not shown on the television special.

Jeff Baker, general manager of Eagle Rock’s DVD and Home Video operations in the United States, called the alliance with Warner “a good fit.”

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