Steve Nickerson to Leave Warner

Posted by Dave Cowl on August 23, 2007 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, HD DVD, Studios

An article on The Hollywood Reporter states that Steve Nickerson, Warner Home Video’s ubiquitous next-generation disc guru, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. It is not clear what effect if any this will have on Warner’s position of neutrality in High Definition Media, though prior to Warner Nickerson was employed at Toshiba and was Warner’s point man for the new formats as senior vp high-definition media.

Related posts:

  1. Warner’s ’300′ Flexes it’s HD Muscles to the Tune of 250K Sales in the First Week
  2. Warner Continues To Support Both Formats… For Now?
  3. Paramount’s HD DVD Decision Decried by Analysts
  4. Warner, Why No HD DVD/DVD Combos in Japan?
  5. Warner Bros. Boasts “The Departed” As Best Selling HD Movie To Date


9 Responses to “Steve Nickerson to Leave Warner”

  1. Segarsj on August 24th, 2007 10:27 am

    This could either be really good, or really bad.

    On the other hand maybe nothing will change at all. However, given the fact that there are to this day Warner HD DVD exclusives and no Warner Blu-ray exclusives, I maintain that if they are debating their neutrality they will be heading to the HD DVD camp. Then again, perhaps the short term sales lead they’ve seen on Blu-ray was able to able to draw them closer to Blu-ray.

    I’m incredibly anxious to see if they make a move before the year is out.

  2. Chris on August 24th, 2007 11:33 am

    If they switched to HD DVD exclusivity, with the Paramount announcement and cheaper HD DVD players on the way, any sales lead Blu-ray has right now would be quickly gone. I hope they do become HD DVD exclusive, it will end this war faster IMO.

  3. Segarsj on August 24th, 2007 2:03 pm

    Exactly, Chris. I think that while the BDA hides behind the sales lead of 2:1, the reality of it all is that, as many have said before, these sales are incredibly minuscule compared to DVD sales, and of course this leaves HD DVD with an even smaller sliver of the pie.

    However, I believe the demand is there for HD disc media, but that the average consumer won’t adopt an unstable format, or even two formats. In other words, while there will always be early adopters like myself, the mass market will not allow themselves to be segmented in this way. People have likened this format neutrality to the DVD-R/DVD+R “war” but these consumer hardware/software decisions never limited the content due to the fact that they were recordable media options, so this parallel is entirely irrelevant, and as a direct result there cannot be two existing formats, theoretically. If the two formats trudge on, their overall lifespan will be far shorter than if there was one successor, and by all accounts the HD DVD business model is far more airtight when compared to Blu-ray’s, at least in my opinion. They are all about dedicated player sales which make it far easier for studios and content providers to gauge how much product they can expect to move. When you compare this to Blu-ray, which has nearly ten times as many players (PS3 included) in the wild, with a mere 2:1 sales lead, their numbers are no longer as stellar as some would have you to believe. For example, if every PS3 owner bought just one title the resulting sales would easily cannibalize the current sales figures for HD DVD. However, not only has this not happened, but there is no assurance Sony, or anyone for that matter, can possibly give to studios that PS3 owners will continue to buy disc after disc. There is simply no way to anticipate that. Even if Blu-ray won, you might never see every single PS3 owner purchasing a Blu-ray title, and naturally that would be rather disconcerting to Studio execs. who are concerned solely with moving discs and making a fat profit off of this new tech.

    This is why dedicated players are more important in the war, and this combined with the finalized spec., mandatory feature inclusions, interactivity, and cost effective incentives managed to convince Paramount and Dreamworks to jump the Blu-ray boat.

    Therefore, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that Warner Bros. is currently reconsidering their neutral stance.

  4. Segarsj on August 24th, 2007 2:18 pm
  5. Devils Advocate on August 24th, 2007 3:47 pm

    @ Chris,

    Even if Warner shifted to HD-DVD exclusive, it would not END the war, but make it an indefinite stalemate. Whoever holds Fox and Disney on their side has too much to just say the war is over.

  6. Dave Cowl on August 24th, 2007 3:49 pm

    For Warner or Paramount going HD DVD exclusive to make a difference, they would have to create a drive for current BD only owners to buy an HD DVD player. If the current BD buyers don’t buy an HD DVD player, the effect is not large – perhaps a drop in BD disc sales. But HD DVD needs an increase in buyers to make a real difference.

    I personally doubt that Paramount would generate sales in HD DVD players. Warner on the other hand has many more titles and exclusivity would be more significant. Of course they would likely lose their current lead in the HD DVD Media sales ranking.

  7. Devils Advocate on August 24th, 2007 3:50 pm

    Especially when you look at the exclusive releases coming up on the bluray side. Bluray isnt going anywhere. If Warner is smart, they will stay neutral and see how things shake out over the holiday season. Let the consumer decide. I think they were impressed by how many blurays they sold of 300 to go neutral.

  8. Ryan on August 25th, 2007 4:50 pm

    They were mighty impressed – they’ve already announced they will be raping, I mean re-releasing the title on Blu Ray disc with additional features.

  9. Segarsj on August 26th, 2007 3:43 pm

    It has less to do with them being impressed and more with them finally including features/support that have been mandatory for HD DVD since the format’s inception.

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