Studios Finally Get to Hang Gold DVDs on their Walls

Musicians and record labels have long been able to back up their bragging with gold records hanging on their walls, but film directors and movie studios have had to rely on mere sales statistics when it came to a DVD's success. But last week, the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) announced the first eight titles to qualify under its new DVD Certification Program to recognize "outstanding sales performance" of DVD titles. The titles were announced during the Association's 19th Annual Convention in Las Vegas by VSDA president Bo Andersen.

The VSDA announced the launch of its DVD Certification Program on March 17, 2000. Similar to the record industry's longstanding sales awards (for example, a Platinum record is granted to a title selling 1 million units), DVD sales certifications are awarded at three levels defined by the number of DVD product units sold (i.e., shipped units minus returns) in the US.

According to the VSDA, DVD titles are eligible for certification as of street date, their eligibility continuing through the life of the title. This allows a DVD to be certified whenever it reaches goal levels, regardless of the year in which it was originally released. The VSDA claims that the DVD Award design has been registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and that each award will be given a serial number to prevent counterfeiting.

The first titles submitted and qualified for certification are:

Silver Level (500,000 units sold)
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (New Line Home Video)
Big Daddy (Columbia TriStar Home Video)
Blade (New Line Home Video)
Blue Streak (Columbia TriStar Home Video)
The Fifth Element (Columbia TriStar Home Video)
Stuart Little (Columbia TriStar Home Video)

Gold Level (1,000,000 units sold)
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (New Line Home Video)

Platinum Level (2,000,000 units sold)
The Matrix (Warner Home Video)

To kick off the program at retail, VSDA says it will supply its retail members with in-store promotional materials, including silver, gold, and platinum stickers that retailers can place on certified titles, and shelf talkers to aid them in creating special DVD Certified Title sections.

VSDA's Andersen adds that "we are extremely proud to be able to recognize titles which have attained these outstanding sales figures. These impressive sales numbers reinforce the incredible acceptance of this format by consumers and the renewed vigor and excitement that DVD has brought to the home video industry."