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Iger: Disney Sold 130M DVDs in Q1

8 Mar, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Walt Disney Co. remains bullish on packaged media despite technological innovations that continue to challenge the distribution status quo — Disney president and CEO Bob Iger told a group of investors this week.

Speaking at the Bear Stearns media conference in Palm Beach, Fla., Iger said that while advances such as downloads and streaming have given consumers more authority over content, the rise in HDTV purchases will increase demand for high-def content, much of it in packaged media.

“I am very confident the DVD business is going to continue to succeed,” Iger said. “We sold 130 million DVDs in the last reported quarter. So this business is not going away for us at all.”

Iger predicted that one of the new formats (HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc) will ultimately take over packaged media but couldn't say when that might happen.

The CEO reiterated his belief that the window between a movie's theatrical and DVD releases will continue to shrink and said Disney will continue to take steps to move product from the theatrical window to platforms beyond DVD such as Apple iTunes.

“I think it is incumbent upon the industry to work harder with theater owners to make sure that experience is improved as well,” he said.

Iger cautioned that technology should be considered more of a friend than foe for companies with branded content.

“Technology has blurred a lot of the lines of distribution, and we've had to move a little bit faster,” he said.

Disney-related sites such as ABC.com, ESPN.com and Disney.com stream about 100 million videos a week, which Iger said represented an enormous opportunity for advertisers, video-on-demand and subscription.

“In this day and age with new media, if we don't try new things we are ultimately going to fail,” Iger said.

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