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Company: Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment

Title: Prexy

How he’s leading: In September, Disney became the first — and for now only — studio to offer movie downloads through Apple’s popular iTunes service, which almost overnight became the leading seller of movie downloads. Disney said in November that it had sold 500,000 movie downloads through iTunes in the first couple months, a staggering number considering rival sites are only selling several hundred digital copies of the most popular new releases.

But the low cost of those iTunes downloads and Disney’s leadership role hasn’t pleased everyone — DVD sales leaders Wal-Mart and Target both threatened to cut back retail support of Disney DVDs because of it. They’ve since backed off.

Even while it experiments with new models and formats — Disney put out the first hi-def bonus features for Blu-ray — the studio under Chapek is having one of its most successful DVD sales years. Fourth-quarter releases “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Cars” are on track to be the No. 1 and 2 DVD sellers in 2006, with “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “The Little Mermaid” close behind.

POV: “It’s a market that’s in its infancy right now,” Chapek says of the download biz. “Our strategy is to sift through all the digital technologies out there and see which ones are viable and test, test, test.”

Homevid Leader Report:

Homevid heads face twin challenges of tumultuous tech times

Kelley Avery

Gary Arnold


Steve Beeks

Jeffrey Bezos & Bill Carr

David Bishop

Jeff Clanagan

Mike Dunn

Stephen Einhorn

Reed Hastings

Martin Greenwald

Robert J. Higgins

Steve Jobs

Craig Kornblau

Avi Lerner

Warren Lieberfarb

Mike Meadows & Jeffrey Lerner

Curt Marvis & Bruce Eisen

Henry McGee

David Porter

Gregg Steinhafel

Jim Taylor

Kevin Tsujihara & Ron Sanders

Bob & Harvey Weinstein and Trevor Drinkwater