Warner Home Entertainment Ups Nick Macrae To SVP
Warner Bros. has promoted Nick Macrae to SVP business and legal affairs for the Home Entertainment Group. Macrae joined Warner in 1999 and most recently was VP and senior counsel for the Home Entertainment Group covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He will continue to be responsible for all aspects of business and legal affairs for the division, negotiating and concluding platform deals, acquiring third party content and advising on issues surrounding home video, digital and video games distribution across the EMEA region.
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Warner Home Entertainment Ups Nick Macrae To SVP
The studios didn’t say how much they put in to the privately held maker of free-to-play social games. But it appears to be significant to Kabam: Warner Bros Home Entertainment President Kevin Tsujihara will become a member of its board, and MGM chief Gary Barber will be an “observer” on the board, according to today’s announcement. Kabam just released “The Hobbit, Kingdoms Of Middle-earth,” a game it co-developed with Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. They’re working on another game for early next year: “The Hobbit: Armies Of The Third Age.” “As we worked with Kabam, it became clear that a closer, more strategic partnership made sense for us both,” Tsujihara says. “Kabam is a leader in the industry and we look forward to being a part of their continued growth.” Other investors include Google, Intel, Canaan Partners and Redpoint Ventures.
HOLLYWOOD, CA (October 4, 2012) – Paramount Home Media Distribution and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group today announced that they have reached a strategic alliance centering on more than 600 catalog titles from the Paramount film library. The deal grants Warner Bros. exclusive rights to physical Blu-ray and DVD distribution of those titles in the US and Canada, and will make Paramount’s UltraViolet offerings available on a non-exclusive basis through Flixster, the Warner Bros. movie streaming and discovery service.
Looks like Warner Bros lost an important potential ally in its effort to double the waiting period for Redbox to secure DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Redbox said this morning that they’ve agreed to continue their current sales arrangement — which requires Redbox to wait 28 days after Universal’s new releases go on sale elsewhere — through August 2014. As part of the agreement, Redbox’s parent, Coinstar, has guaranteed up to $10M of its revenue sharing commitment to Universal, the company said in an SEC filing. The new agreement “represents a win for consumers, Universal and Redbox,” the kiosk company’s SVP Galen Smith says. It takes some pressure off of his company: It has begun to buy Warner Bros discs from retailers, instead of directly from the studio, after the entertainment company insisted that Redbox wait 56 days to secure new releases. Redbox said it was prepared to go through the same costly and complicated process for Universal’s videos if it made the same demand. But the workaround would have become “far more difficult to manage” for multiple studios, Wedbush Securites analyst Michael Pachter said yesterday in a report. With this morning’s announcement, Coinstar’s stock price is up about 2.5% in pre-market trading. The new deal with Universal “is significantly positive news and removes a cloud over the shares,” B. Riley & Co analyst Eric Wold says. Redbox’s contract with Fox, which also includes a 28-day delay, expires …
The kiosk company already buys Warner Bros discs on the open market instead of accepting the studio’s insistence that it wait 56 days for new releases. And Paul Davis, CEO of Redbox parent Coinstar, says he’s “comfortable that we could deal with” a similar situation if Universal or Fox also try to change their current arrangement to hold new releases for 28 days before selling discs directly to Redbox. The kiosk company says it offsets the higher price it pays retailers for Warner Bros’ new DVD and Blu-ray releases by carrying fewer of the studio’s titles. “We’re not buying every single movie” from Warner Bros, he told analysts at the Pacific Crest Emerging Technology Summit. ”We’re pretty selective.” The company expects to “learn a lot more as we go through the quarter” about how many discs to buy to satisfy consumers and still make a profit. Although Redbox is prepared to do the same thing with Universal and Fox, Davis says “I don’t believe that’s where we’ll end up.”
Looks like Redbox has told Warner Bros to take a hike with its effort to double the waiting period for new rental DVDs to 56 days. When the contract to acquire discs directly from Warner Bros expires today Redbox will “work to provide Warner Brothers’ movies through alternative means,” says Gary Cohen, SVP for marketing and customer experience. He adds that Redbox “maintains direct working relationships with every other major studio.” Disney, Paramount, and Sony provide new DVDs to Redbox the day they’re released; Universal and Fox require the kiosk company to wait 28 days. Redbox is taking a big risk by choosing to buy Warner Bros discs from outside sources: That could be more costly. What’s more, the company may not be able to buy enough copies of hit films to satisfy its customers — especially if Warner Bros can persuade retailers to cap the number of the studio’s discs they’ll sell to a single customer. (Earlier this morning Walmart agreed to continue housing Redbox kiosks to early 2015.) But Warner Bros also is taking a gamble: There’s nothing to stop Redbox from flooding the market with used Warner Bros DVDs a few weeks after they’re released, when rental demand for the titles lets up. Still, Warner Bros wants to increase the delay before providing discs to low-cost rental companies because it believes that will help to boost sales. That’s become an important initiative for Warner: It’s also leading the pack in offering discs under the entertainment industry’s Ultraviolet campaign which makes it possible for buyers to also stream movies to digital devices. Earlier this month Netflix agreed to the 56-day delay. Studios fear that their profits will
EXCLUSIVE: That’s about 1% of Warner Bros’ total domestic workforce. When I asked about it, Warner Bros Entertainment issued this statement: “As part of the continual review of our business operations, Warner Bros. Entertainment will be undertaking limited staff reductions in our home entertainment and consumer products divisions. The total number of employees and positions impacted by these reductions is a relatively small percentage of our domestic workforce.”
BURBANK, Calif., May 4, 2011 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group today announced an agreement to acquire Flixster, the movie discovery application company with over 25 million worldwide users per month. The acquisition also includes Rotten Tomatoes website devoted to film reviews, information and news. Under the terms of the deal, Flixster will continue to operate independently and will expand its services beyond movie discovery to enable digital content ownership and delivery across any connected digital device.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will utilize the Flixster brand and technical expertise to launch a number of initiatives designed to grow digital content ownership, including the recently announced consumer application “Digital Everywhere.” This studio-agnostic application will be the ultimate destination for consumers to organize and access their entire digital library from anywhere on the device of their choice, as well as to share recommendations and discover new content. The Flixster acquisition and “Digital Everywhere,” combined with the Studio’s support of the UltraViolet format are all part of an overall strategy to give consumers even more freedom, utility and value for their digital purchases.
“Driving the growth of digital ownership is a central, strategic focus for Warner Bros.,” said Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Office of the President, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “The acquisition of Flixster will allow us to advance that strategy and promote initiatives that will