Will Blu-Ray Lose In Spite Of Winning?
Not too long ago we heard all about how HD-DVD had lost the format war with Sony’s Blu-Ray and stopped fighting. The high ups at Sony were predicting that Blu-Ray would have a 50% market share by the end of 2008. Unfortunately for them things don’t seem to be going the way they thought.
According to an article on Engadget, Blu-Ray has about 8% of the video media market while DVD’s command the remaining 92% of the market.
Not only that, but The Standard reports that Sony is turning to some of the cheesier tactics of the 90’s software business like including free Blu-Ray discs in magazines.
They’re also promising that the price of players is going to come down below $300 soon as well. However, I don’t think that’s going to cut it at all. Why? There’s some basic reasons that keep people away from Blu-Ray.
1). Cost. Not just the players, but the media itself. Titles on Blu-Ray cost from $20-$30 or more each when most of the same titles can be had for $5-$9 on DVD.
2). Equipment cost is not just limited to the players, there’s the Tv to consider. Why would anyone want to bother with a high definition player when the set it’s going to be used with cannot benefit from the high definition part of the signal? That’s insane and since High definition tv sets are still VERY pricey, it’s going to be a LONG time before the combination of a High-def tv and a Blu-Ray player and Blu-Ray titles is economical enough to be anything even resembling interesting to most consumers. Also, lets not forget the fact that there’s a lot of people out there scrambling to either come up with converter boxes or switch to tv sets with digital tuners before next February. All that while the economy is in the toilet and money is tighter than ever.
3). DRM. Sony’s full of it. There’s a rather large number of people that simply don’t want to mess with Blu-Ray because of the DRM involved. Many of the same people won’t bother with DVD’s for the same reason. And before you say it, the DRM complaint is not about piracy, it’s about being able to take something that you bought and paid for and make a backup copy, shift the content to another medium or device, Etc. Until Sony gets off of the DRM bandwagon to nowhere they’re going to continue losing customers and money.
Simply put, unless Sony, the RIAA, the MPAA, and “Big Content” in general pulls their collective heads out of where the sun don’t shine, they’re going to continue down the tubes while the rest of us save our money and go with those who have the sense to provide inexpensive DRM free content and not have a fit if we port a copy of it to another format or device.
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