Format War Forever?
A new study by the British media research firm Screen Digest has found that both the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD formats are sustainable well into the future- but that the five Hollywood studios wed to a single format are missing out on as much as $175 million in yearly revenues by not supporting both. The Web site World Screen News reported on Screen Digest’s results.
The report’s conclusion was an unusual one among observers of the hi-def format war: that single-format studios will eventually switch their positions to support both formats. Screen Digest’s reasoning is that Paramount’s recent switch to HD DVD-only guarantees the future of that format, meaning that the format war will exist for the long haul. Therefore, in the firm’s thinking, other studios will seek to release movies in both formats in order to maximize revenues.
Screen Digest did agree with the conventional wisdom on one thing: that the coming holiday season will be “crucial” for the hi-def disc business.