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Breaking news from our friends at Media Play News

https://www.mediaplaynews.com/universal-warner-bros-to-merge-domestic-disc-business/

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Jake Lipson

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This is a genuine question, not me trying to be snarky: How will this really affect us from a consumer standpoint?

As long as I can buy WB and Universal titles, I don't really care what studio distributes it. A few years ago, WB briefly distributed some Paramount catalog titles, so I have a few Paramount titles with a "Distributed by Warner Bros." sticker on the back. But it's the same disc as I would have gotten if distributed by Paramount, so why does it matter?

The only thing that seems to raise a red flag is that if representatives from either studio would get involved in a pissing match with Amazon, like Disney is and Warner previously has been, then it sounds like product from both studios would be affected.
 

jcroy

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The only thing that seems to raise a red flag is that if representatives from either studio would get involved in a pissing match with Amazon, like Disney is and Warner previously has been, then it sounds like product from both studios would be affected.
This!!!

I strongly suspect this corporate arrangement is entirely to get some leverage with giants like amazon and walmart.
 

Rob W

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Nobody sells units like Disney does so a merger of two other studios is unlikely to get any better leverage with Amazon and Wal-Mart.

I think the real truth is that physical media is declining at an alarming rate and the two studios, seeing a downward trend that will not reverse, can no longer justify the infrastructure to keep the businesses alive much longer on the scale they currently operate. They are future-proofing.

If a history of physical media is ever written, I'm sure that the single greatest blow to the business by far will prove to be the introduction of Disney +.
 
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jcroy

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If they Warner/Universal can't get any better leverage, then at least they can maintain whatever existing leverage they already have currently.

They probably already know that their leverage has nowhere to go but down in the future. So the hope is that it is a "soft landing" and not a sudden crash.
 
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David Weicker

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If the release rate (especially WAC) continues at the same pace, I’m ok.

Where this is likely to hurt is with boutique labels (especially Kino). Warner has been reluctant to license to others, and if Universal back catalog is no longer licensed, I would not like that. Or if WAC’s only ‘perfect’ releases now extended to Universal, that would also be not welcome.

On the other hand, Universal has been open about licensing, so if some of the less-than-perfect Warner’s titles ended up somewhere else, that would be a plus.

A lot will depend on whose policies take precedence.
 

Billy Batson

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I suppose it makes good business sense. I dunno, but I'd think it would be new movies, as Universal seem to license out nearly all their catalogue releases these days.
 
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timk1041

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I suppose it makes good business sense. I dunno, but I'd think it would be new movies, as Universal seem to license out nearly all their catalogue releases these days.
I wish they would license out even more of their titles. There are still plenty of titles, including all those older Paramount ones they own.
 

Billy Batson

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I wish they would license out even more of their titles. There are still plenty of titles, including all those older Paramount ones they own.
Oh yes, there's always more, but between Kino, Koch (Germany) & Elephant Films (France) & a few other companies, they haven't done bad.
 
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Kyrsten Brad

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Nobody sells units like Disney does so a merger of two other studios is unlikely to get any better leverage with Amazon and Wal-Mart.


If a history of physical media is ever written, I'm sure that the single greatest blow to the business by far will prove to be the introduction of Disney +.
I might second this statement at least as far as Disney titles are concerned. While I still have my DMC membership, I’m limiting my Disney Blu-ray purchases nowadays only to titles I really really want my own copy of.
( Or if some indie boutique House gets a hold of rights to SOTS and puts a well done Blu-ray on the market).

UHD Blu-ray titles are another matter as I may upgrade favorites ( Star Wars franchise for example, The Incredibles, etc) to UHD Blu-ray as my budget permits.
 

Robert Crawford

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If the release rate (especially WAC) continues at the same pace, I’m ok.

Where this is likely to hurt is with boutique labels (especially Kino). Warner has been reluctant to license to others, and if Universal back catalog is no longer licensed, I would not like that. Or if WAC’s only ‘perfect’ releases now extended to Universal, that would also be not welcome.

On the other hand, Universal has been open about licensing, so if some of the less-than-perfect Warner’s titles ended up somewhere else, that would be a plus.

A lot will depend on whose policies take precedence.
Today, Kino announced a new disc deal with Universal involving 200 movie titles.
 

Ed Lachmann

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Today, Kino announced a new disc deal with Universal involving 200 movie titles.
That's GREAT news. Maybe, if luck has it, they'll cut a disc deal with WB, too, in tandem with this merger. Kino has been fabulous with releasing titles for various and sundry tastes, unlike WB Archives. This may herald BDs of titles like Scaramouche, Land of the Pharaohs, Raintree County, Blackboard Jungle and many more. Keeping fingers crossed!
 
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I see this and hope for WB/Universal Home Entertainment to start some sort of combined rewards program. I don't know how many movies I buy from either studio separately, but I'm sure that the two of them together would give me enough purchases to net some decent rewards.
 

Robert Crawford

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How many different threads do we need to have the same "disc vs digital" discussion in? If I'm frustrated reading this same subject matter in different threads, I do wonder how many other people are tired of it too?

Okay, I moved several posts to a thread discussing "disc vs digital" issues. Here is the Link. Let's stay on topic in this thread discussing Universal/Warner merging their domestic disc business. Thank you.
 

Robert Crawford

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Here is another article discussing this disc production merger between the two studios. The following excerpt is probably the reason for this merger.

The moves come amid the long, slow decline of physical disc sales — which show no signs of reversing — and the ascendancy of streaming video. Sales of DVDs in the U.S. fell 9.4% in 2019, to $5.9 billion, down from about $9 billion in the U.S. in 2011, according to trade group DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.