Toshiba seeks joint HD DVD promotion

Toshiba is uniting with leading movie studios and technology companies in an attempt to beat Sony in the race to replace DVDs with a new format.

The company is in talks with potential partners looking to form an alliance in Europe to promote HD DVD, which will battle against rival DVD format Blu-ray – owned by a group led by Sony – for dominance in the run-up to Christmas.

The move mirrors Toshiba’s US strategy where the HD DVD Promotion Group, which includes Toshiba, Paramount and Warner Bros, has committed $150m (£78.7m) to promoting the technology.

Toshiba’s assistant general manager marketing for Europe, Olivier Van Wynendaele, says: "As far as Europe is concerned, discussions are under way to follow the same initiative as we have in the US."

Though HD DVD is launching within weeks the line-up of the alliance is still not confirmed and there are fears it could take several months to finalise a strategy. However, Van Wynendaele says the launch marketing campaign will differ from that in the US, due to lower consumer awareness of high definition services here. Toshiba will concentrate its marketing budgets in the launch period on "consumer education".

Any marketing and advertising campaign is expected to link in with the promotion of Toshiba’s televisions.

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