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
Robert Iger and Peter Chernin 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."
Tags: Industry Forecasts (all tags)