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  1. #1

    Default Merits studios might consider when choosing one side over the other

    Here we go: As posted by Penton-Man, Saturday afternoon.



    Well I wouldn’t worry, if I were you. I think it would be best described for a consumer to have cautious optimism.

    I’m still confident for a good expedited outcome but, I have been in this business too long to count my chickens before their hatched…..meaning until the Fat Lady actually sings.

    I’ve seen some of the most unexpected things happen at the last moment on the turn of a dime. (The only thing that I am 100% certain about in the near future is that Chris C. will be joining Sony on Jan.1, 2008 and be reporting directly to someone at Sony Pictures…… and he is a helluva a negotiator for things like 4K Digital Cinema )

    The most encouraging thing that has come out of the behind the scenes maneuvering is that a software company is finally showing its true colors (a *we could care less attitude about packaged media*) as they are unwilling to get deeply involved with *oshibo* corruption unless a certain studio grants them a multi-year live download package.

    I doubts that’s gonna happen.



    As answered by MaxPower, Saturday Evening, Blu-Ray insider.


    Question:
    so was this "exclusivity" deal linked to HDM distribution as well. Basically was MSFT saying "we will give you X moneys to go HDM exclusive...oh and BTW, you can only release digitally through us too"

    Or was it strictly digital. also, lol, sorry for the number of ?'s, but was this possibly the last ditch effort by HD DVD get WB......seems like its cutting it close if this is supposed to be getting done by CES.
    A:
    The first one.

    MS have informed relevant parties that they will not be investing anymore in HD DVD unless digital distribution is included in any future deals.

    Q:
    I mean, theyre basically asking these companies to tie themselves not only into a format with inferior sales, but into a medium that isnt even REALITY yet let alone prosperous or functional.......im sorry for doubting this, but it seems so asinine it cannot be true.
    A:
    Think about it for a second.

    You are a major studio. Sales from digital distribution for movies is basically nil. MS come to you and say "hey we are part of the HD DVD group, we want you to release only on HD DVD and we'll give you loadsa cash, oh and you know those downloads that don't make you very much money, throw those in and we'll give you even more cash".

    So MS get their exclusive studio for HD DVD and Live. WB get loads of instant cash, but scupper any chances of a single optical format.

    It makes sense for MS to make this kind of deal, when revenue from Windows and Office starts to stutter they will make a massive push on their Live platform, and what better way to do it than say they have the Harry Potter series exclusive to download from it, only you'll need some MS IPTV style box or an Xbox 720, or something along those lines...

    Q:

    Sure it makes sense from MSFT's perspective. But i would think, even though im just a normal consumer, it would take damn near 10 figures to make up the difference of a unified HDM to a jumbled split mess of disc medium and unknown digital distribution anytime soon. Surely MSFT isnt willing to buy WB for THAT much are they?.....wouldn't WB see the stalling of HDM (which is what would make them their money) to exclusively distribute through MSFT digitally when its not as if MSFT holds the only means to digital distribution.
    A:

    The issue isn't what WB think, what they think is mostly irrelevant. The issue is MS making these sorts of big money offers a la Viacom and what they have proposed to WB. WB aren't weak enough to take them up on this, but other studios are a different story. Universal already got sucked in once, what do you think they will do if MS come in with the velvet suitcases for exclusive digital distribution rights...

    For them, the format war is all but over, HD DVD has sort of served its purpose, maybe it could have delayed Blu for an extra year or two, but it was enough for them.
    Q:

    Whoa! Big Whoa!

    So MS does want to be a truly monopolistic company. I don't see how a media company would allow their content to be distributed on line by one company...

    INSANE!

    WB is looking better and better everyday. Safe to ask if Paramount entered into that kind of deal with their "transaction"?
    A:

    Yeah, it is the only way they know how to do business. All credit to them, it works...

    And, no, it isn't safe. Sorry.
    Q:

    Hey Max.

    Is this the first time MSFT has actually laid down their cards? Is this really like the "finally the truth comes out" type of thing it feels like, or has this been ongoing and a meeting finally took place.....

    also, whats the perception around the office? Is this widely viewed as a possible benefit to HD DVD or a "boy its about time they said it" type of move?

    Seems liek if this is the first coming out of the closet for MSFT they must really be backed into a corner because they really dont seem to have very good bargaining chip atm.

    A:

    It's definitely not advantageous to HD DVD, no one I have spoken to thinks any of the big seven are stupid enough to enter this kind of exclusive deal for an unproven technology. So the fact that MS have basically said that it is over for HD DVD and stated that they now feel downloads are the way forwards doesn't help them, no.

    It was sort of on the cards though. You forget that when people like Michael Bay speak up, Hollywood listens. So I imagine the studios have been half expecting a move like this from MS for a while now and have been ready for it. We have been advising our clients in Hollywood on this matter extensively over the last six or seven months, we know they were ready.

    Q:

    I have to admit the above has me worried a bit. A lot of us have assumed that if WB went Blu excl., that Universal would go neutral at some point thereafter. So, are you saying that a "weak" studio like Universal may skip out on HDM all together if HD DVD dies out in 2008/2009 and go right to exclusive downloads ONLY (i.e. no HDM)? That would be ridiculous. Or are you saying that they would sign for exclusivity in the download arena, but still have an HDM offering & revenue stream?

    Hollywood needs to get rid of this Microsoft cancer right now before it's too late.
    A:

    All contracts have their limits, and buy-outs, and clauses. So no, I don't expect the 'weaker' studios to skip HDM altogether, just until they can free themselves of the contract that says they can't release on Blu. Most likely MS will ask for HD DVD not to be tied to their downloads and draw up separate contracts for each. That is pure guesswork though, based on past actions by MS.

    Q:
    Max, if M$ did get their way and got a contract signed with say Universal (hopefully WB isn't that dumb) would it be safe to say that there would be escape clauses for dropping HD-DVD but the download distribution part would be ironclad?

    A:

    Something along those lines. They wouldn't link it too strongly to HD DVD as it can fail and studios wanting out so they can release on Blu-ray would also then get out of the download exclusivity, which is something MS wouldn't want.

  2. #2
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    I stopped reading after Penton-Man.
    HD-E1, PS3

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic67 View Post
    I stopped reading after Penton-Man.
    Heh, he's the one of the most credible insiders up to now. Bury your head in the sand if you want to.

    And it's a little meatier than just "WB is going... blah blah blah"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amir
    Those people who think optical is superior to digital distribution, take note!
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=3116

  5. #5

    Default

    For a self-proclaimed "Blu-Ray insider" he seems to know a lot about HD DVD
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  6. #6
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    Not a bit a bias, none at all..

  7. #7

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    Heh. Hell, even I thought Bay was off his rocker, but apparently not.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skitals View Post
    For a self-proclaimed "Blu-Ray insider" he seems to know a lot about HD DVD
    Wouldn't be much of an insider if he didn't know his stuff and the competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skitals View Post
    For a self-proclaimed "Blu-Ray insider" he seems to know a lot about HD DVD
    Yeah was thinking the same. So BD guys know everything about HD DVD but HD DVD guys are always wrong about BD, hilarious.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coren View Post
    Wouldn't be much of an insider if he didn't know his stuff and the competition.
    Did the same go for Amir?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Greenway View Post
    Did the same go for Amir?
    Amir was simply a liar, and proven so.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Greenway View Post
    Did the same go for Amir?
    Heh, well, even Amir is now trumpeting digital distribution. The MS agenda is coming to light. The linky is above to Amir's sudden change in attitude.

  13. #13

    Default

    So MS wants to cut deals that include both HDDVD and digital distribution, what's so bad about that??

    Other than that i really see the fear in all these posts. They certainly don't seem as happy as they were 20 days ago.
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  14. #14

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Michael Bays argument that Microsoft wanted to draw the format war out until they'd perfected their digital download service.

    Whereas my understanding of the above is Microsoft wants exclusive digital distribution rights in return for continued HD DVD support & for Warner a lumpsum... or else.

    So no, I wouldn't consider Bay to be "right" exactly. Seems more like Microsoft are gambling on getting what they want or essentially handing a win to Blu-Ray.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crackbone View Post


    The first one.

    MS have informed relevant parties that they will not be investing anymore in HD DVD unless digital distribution is included in any future deals
    .
    Well, CES next year is certainly going to be rather interesting. Whether or not there's any validity to all of this remains to be seen, but I'm finding it a rather amusing read.
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