Consumerscope: Selling Blu-Ray: It's Not All About Price
Despite precipitous price drops and advancing features, Blu-Ray players have struggled on the sales shelf against standard DVD players this year. The reasons are many: higher prices, consumer confusion, thin title selection, pricier movies. The question now is when will the market opportunity shift from DVD to Blu-Ray?
Timing is everything in this industry. Unfortunately, the recent economic downturn temporarily derailed Blu-Ray's ascendancy, slowing consumer adoption and forcing manufacturers to recalibrate business plans. Now that the economy is showing signs of improvement, is this the right time for dealers to make or possibly expand their Blu-Ray strategy? Before we get to the answer, let's examine some market trends.
This year, through August, standard DVD players have out-shipped Blu-Ray decks almost six to one. Total factory-to-dealer shipments of DVD players has topped 11 million units through August this year, while BD player sales have barely managed to hit 2.1 million. Comparing this sales performance against CEA's annual shipment forecast (updated in July) the disparity between DVD players and Blu-Ray sales is even more telling. Manufacturers have already shipped 64 percent of the forecasted 17 million DVD players this year. Meanwhile, shipments of BD players have tallied only 36 percent of the forecasted 5.9 million units.