A new report examining the evolution of the high-def market predicts both next-gen disc formats are here to stay, and that most studios are likely to end up supporting both formats.
Released today by UK-based media analysts Screen Digest, the report includes detailed forecasts of consumer sales and revenues in the US and Europe for both new video formats through 2011, with each predicted to establish a viable installed base.
The report goes on to calculate that format-exclusive studios could be missing out on significant revenues, potentially eschewing over $270 million in consumer spending over 2008 alone. With so much at stake, Screen Digest expects several single-format studios to reassess their positions in 2008.
Although Paramount's recent decision to exclusively support HD DVD would seem to undermine the report's prediction, Screen Digest says that the move effectively secured HD DVD's immediate future, and cleared the way for the other studios that currently support one platform only to move to an agnostic position without being perceived as the studio solely responsible for prolonging a format war, or for killing off one of the formats.
"Christmas 2007 is going to be critical for the hi-def video business," said Richard Cooper, Screen Digest Video Analyst. "Both formats will be seeking to secure consumer buy-in to their proposition during the critical holiday season but with so much at stake on both sides we think it is highly unlikely that one format will emerge as the 'winner.'
"Once it becomes clear that both formats are gaining customer acceptance, studios that have chosen to support one format over the other will realize that they are missing out on potential sales and will have to decide how long they can afford to place principle over profit."
"We believe that eventually most will decide to offer their titles on both HD DVD and Blu-ray in order to maximize their returns."