Looks like the boys behind Blu-Ray are up against a wall.
This morning, I was browsing PCMag and discovered deplorable sales performance last quarter for Blu-ray. For those unaware of the monicker, Blue-Ray is that spanking new the HD disc format touted to revolutionize the industry. Well… almost.
Marketers looked forward to sales of Blu-ray players after Blu-ray killed off HD DVD in February 2008 in the most stupendous format war since VHS killed Betamax.
Sadly, the follow-up punch wasn’t there. Demand for DVD players outstripped Blu-ray players by a factor of 10, despite some Blu-Ray players selling for less than $200. Worse, consumers have found greener pastures in the convenience of digital downloads and digital hard drive recorders. I’m no soothsayer, but I feel Blu-ray may very well perish as buyers, like myself, leap from DVD to downloads.
CD and DVD put an end to the chore of rewinding betamax tapes. That’s what killed betamax. Now the convenience of downloads and the superior availability of flexible digital content may be a killer reason folks just won’t get hot about getting a new player. The computer IS the ultimate player. With free download sites, DSL and Draft-N wifi… any PC can be the ultimate entertainment system. Who needs Blue-Ray??
According to Reevo.com, there are three other reasons Blue-Ray may fail to make the cut.
1. Enhanced DVD players
DVD players are still outselling Blu-ray players by a monstrous margin. With a basic DVD player now costing just $40 (equivalent to the cost of a new release Blu-Ray disc alone), and newer high-end DVD players capable of upscaling a standard definition image to near-HD, the gap between DVD and Blu-ray has shrunk to the point that shoppers see no reason to upgrade. I know I don’t. (aside from having empty bragging rights)
2. Inflated Blu-ray and disc pricing
Blu-ray prices remain high. Over 6 months, the average price of a Blu-ray player was $400, more than four times the average DVD player at $40, and has remained largely flat month-on-month, with a small increase in average price from July to January. Average DVD player prices have dropped by 20% from July to January. Blu-ray disc prices are also high, costing $40 for a new release, compared to $40 for a new release on DVD and an extensive back catalogue priced very cheaply.
At epinions.com, reviews of Blu-ray players raise frustrations regarding slow loading times and an inability to play certain file formats.
Slow to read the BluRay discs but is this a feature of BluRay?
Still a bit slow to load discs
My granny is faster than this.
3. Can’t beat free downloads!
Remember Porter’s five forces? A product often hits demise when Substitutes enter the fray. Right now the format competes with cheap downloads through services such as Apple’s store which offers quality content for rental or purchase at a lower price than Blu-ray discs. Peruse their content and note that many cost less than $5. How can BlueRay compete with that??