Why blu-ray vs. HD-DVD ist not VHS vs. Betamax: The co-evolution of standard-setting consortia
Extensive research has been conducted on the economics of standards in the last three decades. To date, standard-setting studies emphasize a superior role of demand-side-driven technology diffusion; these contributions assume the evolution of a user-driven momentum and network externalities. We find that consumers wait for a dominant standard if they are unable to evaluate technological supremacy. Thus, supply-side-driven activities necessarily need to address an absence of demand-side technology adoption. Our paper focuses on Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD as an illustrative case of consortia standard wars. One central role of consortia is to coordinate strategic behavior between heterogeneous agents, e.g. incumbents, complementors (content providers) and others, but also to form a coalition against other standard candidates. More precisely, we argue that agents signal standard-setting war outcomes through consortia events. We depict the essential role of consortia structures for the recently determined standard war between the High-Definition disc specifications Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Therefore, the paper suggests that unique supply-side dynamics from consortia structures, consortia announcements and exclusive backing decisions of firms determined the standard-setting process in the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD standard war. This study is based on the following data: movie releases and sales numbers, membership affiliation for structural consortia analysis, and an in-depth event study. A detailed comparison of the technological specifications of both standard specifications supports our argument that there was no technological supremacy of one standard candidate from a consumer-oriented usecase perspective. We furthermore clarify that content providers (complementors) such as movie studios and movie rental services feature a gate-keeping position in the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD standard war. In the case of Blu-ray, film studios decided the standard war because the availability of movie releases, but not technological supremacy, made the standard attractive to consumers. Finally, we find that there is a co-evolution of the consortia in terms of membership dynamics. Particularly, firm allegiance of heterogeneous agents plays a crucial role.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.fzid.uni-hohenheim.de/Email:
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Shy, Oz, 1996. "Technology revolutions in the presence of network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 785-800, October.
- Robert Axelrod & Will Mitchell & Robert E. Thomas & D. Scott Bennett & Erhard Bruderer, 1995. "Coalition Formation in Standard-Setting Alliances," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(9), pages 1493-1508, September.
- Funk, Jeffrey L. & Methe, David T., 2001. "Market- and committee-based mechanisms in the creation and diffusion of global industry standards: the case of mobile communication," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 589-610, April.
- Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
- Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
- Brian J. Loasby, 2000. "Market institutions and economic evolution," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 297-309.
- Stephen E. Margolis & S.J. Liebowitz, .
"Path Dependence, Lock-in and History,"
Working Paper Series
10, North Carolina State University, Department of Economics.
- Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1992. "Product Introduction with Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 55-83, March.
- David Dranove & Neil Gandal, 2003. "The Dvd-vs.-Divx Standard War: Empirical Evidence of Network Effects and Preannouncement Effects," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 363-386, 09.
- Windrum, Paul, 2004. "Leveraging technological externalities in complex technologies: Microsoft's exploitation of standards in the browser wars," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 385-394, April.
- Nicholas Economides & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2004. "Standards Coalitions Formation and Market Structure in Network Industries," Microeconomics 0407008, EconWPA.
- Aija Elina Leiponen, 2008. "Competing Through Cooperation: The Organization of Standard Setting in Wireless Telecommunications," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(11), pages 1904-1919, November.
- Suarez, Fernando F., 2004. "Battles for technological dominance: an integrative framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 271-286, March.
- Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
- Neil Gandal, 2002. "Compatibility, Standardization, and Network Effects: Some Policy Implications," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 80-91, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:fziddp:200905. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.