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|RCA Press Release for November 23, 1983|
Reports First Agreement for System's Use in Commercial Application and Surge in Player Sales Over Past 8 Weeks
The RCA VideoDisc Division has added two experienced sales executives in an expansion of key marketing activities involving both the consumer market and new sales opportunities for the company's line of players and discs.
Joseph P. Clayton has been named to the new position of Vice President, Consumer Sales, and Paul I. Anderson assumes sales responsibility for interactive video discs as Vice President, Commercial Sales, RCA VideoDisc Operations.
Mr. Clayton, presently Vice President and General Manager of the RCA Distributing Corporation branch in Chicago, had previously held major sales positions in the New York and Detroit branches. In his new position, he will report to Arnold T. Valencia, Division Vice President and General Manager of the recently formed RCA VideoDisc Division, along with Herbert J. Mendelsohn, Division Vice President, Advertising and Merchandising.
Mr. Anderson joined RCA VideoDisc Operations in Indianapolis from the Rayovac Corporation where he was Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Consumer Products Group. He had previously been with the 3M Company for twenty-three years, primarily in sales and marketing positions. Mr. Anderson will report to Dr. Jay J. Brandinger, Division Vice President and General Manager, VideoDisc Operations.
"The appointments are part of an overall restructuring that will help the RCA 'CED' system take specific advantage of broader sales opportunities in all segments of the market," Mr. Valencia said.
He noted the following favorable factors that have recently affected RCA VideoDisc players and discs:
-- RCA has signed a contract with a manufacturer that will result in the RCA VideoDisc system being used in a significant commercial application. RCA's new deluxe Random Access player will be used.
-- Sales to dealers of RCA VideoDisc players over the past 8 weeks have been nearly 5 times greater than the same period a year ago following the introduction of a promotion whereby players are being sold at retail for $199.
-- RCA's recent emphasis on music video has generated significant dealer orders for a "six-pack" of stereo music discs now being offered to consumers in a promotion running until December 24th.
Mr. Valencia noted that "the positive direction of VideoDisc sales at the retail level and the new opportunities for business in non-consumer markets have touched all pricing points" in RCA's player line which ranged in optional retail price up to $499.95 for the new Random Access player with interactive applications.
He said it is increasingly clear that an important segment of the total market will respond to the value offered in a player priced in the area of $200 at retail. RCA's current promotion in that pricing area involves a lead model monaural player that does not contain such features as pause control or visual search.
Recognizing the importance of lower prices for both players and discs in an expanding video products market, Mr. Valencia said, "A total, cost-driven effort is under way in both the software and hardware segments of RCA's VideoDisc business so that the potential of video discs as an entertainment, educational and informational medium can be realized as quickly as possible."
"The product introduction phase is now complete; the more critical next step is to intensify public awareness of the simplicity and outstanding value of the 'CED' system," Mr. Valencia said.
As part of the focused sales effort for VideoDisc, Mr. Clayton will direct a separate field sales group that will be responsible for consumer sales of both players and discs. Previously, player sales were handled by the RCA Sales Corporation in Indianapolis and disc sales were the responsibility of RCA VideoDiscs, headquartered in New York.
Mr. Mendelsohn, in addition to heading the merchandising activities for the VideoDisc players and discs, will also be responsible for the RCA VideoDisc Division's advertising effort.