Andre Blay (July 27, 1937 – August 24, 2018) was an American businessman, film producer, and studio executive.
Role in growth of home video industry
Blay co-founded Stereodyne, the nation's first eight-track and cassette duplication company, in 1966.
Blay then founded an audio/video production and duplication company in 1968 called Magnetic Video. He also started the Video Club of America, a direct-mail sales operation through which he offered the video cassettes produced and duplicated at Magnetic Video. He advertised the club through TV Guide, and nine thousand users initially joined the club.
That subsequently provided the model for and enabled the creation of the first video rental stores, many of which were soon started thereafter.
He was later recognized by the Consumer Electronics Association as creating the idea that "sparked a retail revolution as hundreds of mom-and-pop video rental and sales stores popped up in every community in America." In 1987, home video rental income surpassed movie theater revenues for the first time. Today, movie studios routinely make more money on video rentals and sales than from the box office of theaters.
CEO of 20th Century Fox Video
In the late 1970s, Blay paid a flat fee of $300,000 plus $500,000 yearly to 20th Century Fox to license movies from their catalogue, which he then duplicated and distributed, earning a royalty generated per video rented. This proved so successful that 20th Century Fox quickly bought Magnetic Video in 1979 to form the 20th Century Fox Video unit, for $7.2 million. Blay then served as the first CEO of 20th Century Fox Video.
CEO of Embassy Home Entertainment
Blay left Fox in 1981 and subsequently formed Andre Blay Corporation, a video software firm. Through this newly formed company, Blay acquired the home video rights to 90 feature films. In 1982, Blay sold his corporation to Embassy Pictures, and became CEO of their newly formed Embassy Home Entertainment. While there he helped bring to production several movies, including Hope and Glory, Sid and Nancy, Souvenir, and A Time of Destiny. He served as CEO until 1986, when the company was sold.
Executive Movie Producer
During the next several years Blay served as executive producer for several movies:
- Mosquito (1995)
- Village of the Damned (1995)
- Souvenir (1989)
- They Live (1988)
- The Blob (1988)
- Jack's Back (1988 producer, uncredited)
- Brain Damage (1988)
- Prince of Darkness (1987)
- Homeboy (1988)
CEO of Enterprise Software
Blay subsequently served, until 1999, as chairman and CEO of Enterprise Software, a developer of broadcast management software for television stations and distributors, cable networks, and radio stations worldwide.
- In 2000, he was inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame.
- He was made an Honorary Alumnus at Central Michigan University's College of Business Administration in 2006.
- "CBA alumni awards honor success, commitment -- Honorary Alumni Award". Central Michigan University. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28.
- "Andre Blay -- CEA Awards". Consumer Electronics Association. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18.
- "Digital America: History -- VCR". Consumer Electronics Association. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- Cuff, Daniel F. (1982-08-09). "BUSINESS PEOPLE; Blay Corp. Founder At Embassy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
- "Andre Blay". The Official John Carpenter Website. 2005. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28.
- "IMDB: Andre Blay". Internet Movie Database.
- "Andre Blay, Who Put Movies on Videotape, Is Dead at 81". The New York Times. 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
- "Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame" (PDF). Consumer Electronics Association. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-11.