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
    Isti, 2 May 2008 @ 1:57pm

    A little but of clarity...if you get this far

    I can see that this discussion is going off into a few other tangents but I wanted to comment on the original story. The study mentions that Blu-ray standalone player sales are down. This makes sense when compared to the graphs showing the prices of these units rising, which can be attributed to the disappearance of HD-DVD as a competitor.

    So we know that standalone player sales are going down, but we also know that PS3 sales are generally increasing month to month. Sadly there is no way to know how many of those machines are being used for Blu-ray, exclusively or not. I think the only real indicator of this is media sales...it should makes sense that if people are buying PS3s for the purpose of watching Blu-ray movies that movie sales themselves have increased (but I admit this is hard to tell since more films being available generally means more sales overall).

    As mentioned in this link http://www.hdtvuk.tv/2008/05/bluray_booming.html Blu-ray disc sales are steadily increasing, which indicates that some of those PS3 sales are going to movie watching. The article's author is sadly trying to focus on a single aspect of performance to back his own beliefs, i.e. taking the context out of the overall view and claiming that "Despite Winning The HD Format War, Blu-Ray Sales Dropped" even though I could rewrite the article header to be "After winning the format war Blu-ray sales soar 351%"...but that wouldn't be very accurate either, would it?

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