Despite Winning The HD Format War, Blu-Ray Sales Dropped

from the whoops dept

We've been pretty harsh on the warring camps over the next generation DVD standard, pointing out, frankly, that most people just didn't care, and the longer the two sides battled, the worse the problem would get. However, even given that I wouldn't have expected the latest news that Blu-ray sales have plummeted from January to February, following its eventual win in the standards battle. Research group NPD chalks up the sales drop to the high prices of Blu-ray DVD players... but that doesn't make any sense. The players were already expensive -- so you'd at least expect sales to remain constant, even if selling prices may have bumped up a bit without the HD DVD competition.

My guess is that a few different things may have impacted the decline in sales. First, there's the seasonal aspect of it (and February is a short month). But, perhaps even more important is that the whole standards battle itself turned users off from any form of next generation DVDs. Those who were HD DVD early adopters are pissed off that they bet on the wrong horse, and those who didn't follow the space closely just know that some folks got screwed -- and don't want to take the chance. One other factor may be the widespread stories warning people not to buy Blu-ray, because the player profile is getting updated, and many older players are not upgradeable. Either way, the backers of Blu-ray can't be all that thrilled that the end of the standards battle didn't lead to a jump in sales. Perhaps they should have spent a bit more time coming up with reasons for consumers to buy rather than wasting all that time fighting with HD DVD.

Filed Under: blu-ray, hd dvd, sales, standards battles

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  1. identicon
    Twinrova, 2 May 2008 @ 4:14am

    Economy isn't to blame this time

    Interesting blog as I've been watching other Blu-ray related news and it's no surprise sales are slumping.

    While most will blame the economy, the true source is the price of the DVDs themselves, being at $24.99 or higher. People are fed up with the prices, both purchases and rentals.

    Netflix is about to increase its Blu-ray rental fee because, by their words, these DVDs cost more than standard DVDs and they can't continue to offer the rentals at the current price.

    This isn't all surprising, as the moment the format war was over, many websites posted Blu-ray players with new higher prices. Both Circuit City and BestBuy raised a Samsung player I had my eyes on by $150.

    Once again, I'll point out that once consumers have no choice, they're being screwed. Yes, I understand revenue needs to be made in order to cover the cost of development, but doing so at unnecessary inflated prices isn't the answer.

    As several pointed out, a PS3 (at $400) is the cheapest Blu-ray player out there, but how many consumers actually know this? Not many.

    I have about 60 movies in my collection. These are the movies I can watch over and over without fear of them getting tiring. Chances are, I will never purchase a Blu-ray player nor any other form of entertainment.

    I'm tired of the industry telling me how to enjoy their product.

    Screw them all and let them rot in hell.

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