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The tale of two different SPIs

The tale of two different SPIs

The demise of Nintendo distributor, SPI NZ, has seen an associated company having to assure the channel that it is still in good shape.

SPI Home Entertainment, the local distributor of Paramount DVDs, is actively differentiating itself from similarly named SPI NZ, which entered receivership on May 30.

While the two companies have different shareholders, they do share a director, William Flew, who managed the failed SPI NZ, which started life as Softprint Interactive in 1995.

But SPI Home Entertainment general manager Tony White says the two companies are completely different entities, which is a message he is keen to spread.

“Because we share a similar name, we have made a point to go out to the channel and to be as clear as we possibly can that the two companies are separate and the team here is in good shape.”

White says SPI Home Entertainment took on the agency to distribute Paramount DVDs from Roadshow Entertainment early this year, adding the business is performing well.

“The business is in good shape and we’ve got a very talented team.”

This includes business development manager Bronwyn Knight, who previously held a senior role at Dick Smith Electronics, and marketing manager Amanda McCardle, who has worked with the Paramount brand for six years, says White.

“We have the core of a very powerful team.”

In addition, Paramount has a strong line-up of titles due for release this year says White. “It is absolutely outstanding. Paramount was the leading studio last year and in the first quarter of this year, and it looks like it will be the leading studio for the remainder of the year.”

SPI Home Entertainment has looked at the possibility of taking on some of the brands, such as Nintendo, left behind by SPI NZ, but it is not a priority for the company, says White. “It is not a major driver at the moment. There is compatibility across the categories, but what Paramount like is that we are single mindedly focussed on them.”

White joined the company in May and was previously general manager of Philip’s consumer electronics division.


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