Powered by TMCnet
| More

Cable Technology Feature Article

December 14, 2009

Blu-ray DVD Sales Need a Lift, Studios Offering Digital Combo Deal

By Kelly McGuire, TMCnet Editor

While some consumers have adapted to the new and improved Blu-ray players and DVDs, others are still reluctant to jump on the more expensive, yet “crystal clear sound and image” movie experience bandwagon.

And, even with a discount of some Blu-ray players to under $100 this holiday season, the lack of capabilities to play in cars and computers prohibits the flexibility of Blu-ray DVDs over traditional DVD players.

However, Hollywood studios are making a push to win customers over by packaging Blu-ray discs with regular versions on DVDs, and throwing in so-called “digital copies,” which can play on computers and iPods.

The best part of this combo deal? The cost. With standard Blu-ray discs costing anywhere from $40 up, the combo price is ideal at around $20. 

With Blu-ray players in over 12 million homes throughout the United States, the new combo deal will make Blu-ray’s an even more sound and flexible investment, with hopes to transition the traditional DVD player consumers.

At a recent industry conference, Best Buy Co.’s Vice President, Michael Vitelli said that, not only is Blu-ray landlocked, but it’s home-locked as well.

With evidence that the market has faced a tough time recently, with U.S. home revenue down 3.2 percent to $4 billion in the third quarter 2009, the competition is fierce in an industry that, before the evolution of technology and the creation of DVDs and, now, Blu-ray DVDs, had none.

Shoppers say utility and portability are sometimes more important than the picture and sound quality that Blu-ray enables. That's why studios have resorted over the past year to including computer- and iPod-friendly digital copies in many movie packages.

Not only does the combination and digital copy promotion help keep Blu-ray DVD revenues up, the combo pack also lets the studio collect contact information from people who choose to register online when they redeem a code that unlocks the digital copy. 

“The more we can do to provide clarity for consumers at an affordable price,” Vitelli said, “the better off we're going to be.”

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly "green" technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire