Walt Disney Company announces new home hideo strategy

Finally, one of the industry’s most anticipated press releases is available now. The Walt Disney Company is initiating a new worldwide strategy for releasing its classic library feature animation titles on DVD and VHS home
video, it was announced today by Joe Roth, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.

The company will significantly increase the depth of its year-round video catalog by permanently making available 26 classic library feature animation titles over the next two years. The company also will create the Disney Platinum Collection, which will include another 10 classic library feature animation titles that Disney will hold in moratorium for a specific time period before reintroducing them into the market. To help accelerate the already-rapid growth of the DVD market, Disney will release all future titles on DVD and VHS simultaneously.

The Disney Platinum Collection will include Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Bambi, The Jungle Book, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians.

Beginning in 2001 with “Snow White,” Disney will release one title from the Platinum Collection on DVD and VHS each fall. Release of each title will be supported by a worldwide marketing effort that will include cross-promotion initiatives by Disney’s various business units.

Disney also will make available on a permanent, year-round basis, its 26 remaining classic library feature animation titles. Currently unavailable titles will be released over the next two years and will be featured in year-round marketing programs that the company will develop to support the library. The company believes that adding these additional titles to its 2000-2001 release schedule will significantly increase the number of Disney video units sold worldwide during the period.

Going forward, Disney will release all future animated films on DVD and VHS simultaneously. “We believe that DVD represents a huge opportunity for our company,” Roth said. “Just as with the VHS
format, which saw incredible growth of video unit sales as VCR penetration rose, DVD demand will surge as penetration levels hit critical mass. As people change over to DVD, they will augment their existing video libraries with discs in the new format.”

Roth noted that there will be 4 million households with set-top DVD units and 10 million DVD-equipped personal computers by Christmas, with market penetration projected to continue its rapid growth. In addition, DVD capability will be featured on soon-to-be-released, next-generation video game players.

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