DVD Not Going Away Anytime Soon Despite High-Def Format War, Say Studio Chiefs
Posted Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 12:42 AM PDT by
Despite plateauing DVD sales in recent months and the looming high-def DVD format
war, consumers will continue to want to purchase Hollywood's movies on pre-recorded
disc-based media for the foreseeable future, say the heads of two major studios.
In an interview
reported last yesterday
by Home Media Retailing, Fox president and COO Peter
Chernin, and Disney pres and CEO Robert Iger told the trade that consumer desire
for prepackaged media continues to be "underestimated" by industry analysts,
despite softening sales and potential cannibalization from rival technologies
like video-on-demand and download services like Apple's iTunes.
"The fact is people like holding a DVD," Chernin told HMR, citing their
wide availability at nationwide retailers and low prices as key to their continued
appeal. "There is an assortment of DVDs generally within a mile of virtually
every household in America. Wal-Mart does a pretty good job selling them at a
loss on our behalf, and they are cheap to make. So I wouldn't assume those things
are going away overnight."
However, while both Cherin and Iger both see disc-based media remaining as a primary
distribution model for Hollywood, neither is happy about the looming high-def
DVD format war. Both executive's companies are supporting Blu-Ray exclusively,
believing consumers will eventually choose the format over rival HD-DVD.
"Peter [Chernin] and I talk about this all the time," Iger said. "It
is frustrating to us and, in the end, it is not good for the consumer."
"Unfortunately, we can’t act as monoliths and make those ultimate decisions
[for consumers]," added Chernin. "But we've [Fox and Disney] chosen
the same format to support, and hopefully the others will see the light."