HD DVD group shrugs off Blockbuster announcement

HD DVD group shrugs off Blockbuster announcement

UniversalKen Graffeo, the head of Universal Studios High Definition marketing, recently spoke at a press event in London. Ken believes that the Blockbuster announcement to carry Blu-ray movies exclusively in most of its’ brick and mortar stores is insignificant.
“Graffeo pointed out that rental counted for less than one percent of its revenue and brushed it off as an insignificant event in the format war.

Ken cited the fact that HD DVD is still being offered in the original 250 stores and through Blockbuster’s online rental service. He claims that those 250 stores are stores where there are large numbers of early adopters and the latter, he believes, is Blockbuster’s major growth market.”

Is that the only response you’ve got?

Ken Graffeo is also the Co-President of the HD DVD Promotions Group, so he can easily be seen as the spokes-person for the entire HD DVD format as a whole. With only this minor statement, days after the Blockbuster announcement, I have to wonder what the HD DVD “Promotions” groups is doing most of the time?

To be honest, I feel that this is a pretty weak response from the HD DVD camp. Blockbuster has a huge presence in the US and their decision to carry Blu-ray Disc titles in 1,450 stores really hurts the HD DVD “promotions”. Some Blu-ray supporters and sponsoring companies are crying “We win” (again) after the Blockbuster announcement, but the format war has a long way to go before there is a clear winner (if any). Source: Bit-Tech via HighDefDigest.

About Wes Novack

Wes is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has extensive experience with online publishing and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, getting outdoors, skateboarding, hiking, pickelball, tennis, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) @WesleyTech.

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3 Comments on “HD DVD group shrugs off Blockbuster announcement”

  1. The first response had Graffeo insulting Blockbuster’s business model saying basically they were irrelevant to today’s market. That’s nice.

    This response is also basically the same thing. Rentals may be only 1% of Universal’s business, but it’s a multi-billion dollar consumer business with Blockbuster holding over 70% of that market.

    The first response Graffeo said it was a “premature” move for Blockbuster. Apparently the irony was lost on him as his company chose to support HD DVD exclusively before $1 in sales were made, and Blockbuster used 6 months of sales to make their decision.

  2. Very interesting comparison to Universal supporting HD DVD before launch, but it’s a bit different since Blockbuster is not a content producer, just a rental outlet.

  3. My opinion about HD-DVD and Blu-Ray is that even
    if customers have a hard time to make their choice for the next format I believe that the winner will be:

    Blu-Ray 🙂


    * Have more support from the movie-studios than HD-DVD have.

    * BD+ the little extra copy-protection may lead the few
    movie-studios who support HD-DVD to choose Blu-Ray instead.

    * The movie-studios will do anything to protect their movies from pirates and their for choose a format that has an extra barrier in their hip-pocket.


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