Following last month's announcement of a merger between the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) and the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) trade associations, the deal has been finalized with the creation of the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), a new trade association for the retailers of DVDs, computer video games, and console video games.
The trade association represents more than 1,000 companies throughout the United States, Canada, and other nations. Its members operate more than 20,000 retail outlets in the U.S. that sell and/or rent DVDs and computer and console video games. Combined sales and rentals of home video and video game software in 2005 totaled $32 billion.
The term "Merchants" in the name of the Association signifies that it will represent all businesses that sell or trade in entertainment. EMA unites mass merchants, video specialty stores, video game specialty retailers, online merchants, electronics retailers, entertainment combo stores, and others that retail, distribute, and supply DVDs, console video games, and computer video games. EMA will provide its members with knowledge-sharing forums, networking opportunities, legislative and legal advocacy, research services, and other trade association offerings.
"The Entertainment Merchants Association brings together the leaders in home video and video game retailing and distribution," noted Geistman. "By leveraging the strengths of each sector, we will have a trade association that is more efficient, more effective, and more influential than either IEMA or VSDA would have been had they continued as separate organizations."
The association also announced that Bo Andersen, President of VSDA, would be President of EMA, which is headquartered in Encino, CA, and that Hal Halpin, Founder and President of IEMA, and Crest Group LLC, which managed IEMA, will advise and assist EMA during its launch.