The music industry is scrambling these days to adapt to new technology, new business models and new music. While many companies have been created and thrive in this environment, MVD Entertainment, a distributor of music DVDs, CDs and collectible merchandise, has sustained profits after being in business for 25 years. The Pottstown, PA-based entertainment distribution and development company has found a way not only to stay in business, but to expand. Re-branding its video business as MVD Visual has increased awareness of its extensive video content, which includes rare footage of artists including David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, in addition to newer acts.
“We focus largely on targeting the collectability of artists,” says COO Ed Seaman. “With the big shift in fans downloading music, there is also a trend of fans desiring tangible items. And young people are collecting vinyl in increasing numbers.”
The company is owned by Tom and Ed Seaman. Tom spent many years working with the old-school record retailers including Sam Goody and Musicland; hence he knows the business of selling music.
“We invest in artists who aren’t flash-in-the-pan,” says Ed Seaman. “And we work with the artists’ websites and other online presences, as well as indie retailers, to offer unique items. We license exclusive items, repackage CDs and DVDs with excellent liner notes and bonus materials, and create a new experience for the fans.”
MVD Entertainment Group also produces and markets low-budget thriller movies. The company often sources music from the artists involved with MVD to contribute music or acting to the films. “We would love to include more of our artists in the films, and we are working towards that,” says Ed. “We want to expand on that opportunity.”
Ed feels that in the current market-place, there are niches still to serve. “The fans are starved. We want to provide as much product as possible to satisfy that need.”
The company also has to satisfy the artists, of course. When taping and manufacturing a live show, Ed says, “We always respect the needs and input of the band.”
MVD offers artists an opportunity to sell music DVDs, CDs, and exclusive items to their fans, and meets the needs of the artist in terms of what they want to provide for their fans. “We try to discover unexploited areas that the fans will enjoy,” says Ed, “including rare, previously unreleased audio and video, in addition to the collectible items.”
The company has been successful enough in recent years to purchase its own production and office building in Pennsylvania. The new facility also houses the wholesale division of MVD Distribution. Recording labels which the company works with include Manifesto Records, Metal Mind Productions, Amherst Records, Uproar and V-12 and others.
MVD Distribution serves major chains and distributors, providing distribution and fulfillment on the wholesale level in addition to the retail and professional services it offers.
--By Brett Bush