Monday, December 8, 2008

Sony: Blu-ray sales are encouraging

Sony believes its Blu-ray high-definition format has finally reached its "sweet point" and sales figures will soon prove this, according to an article published on Home Media Magazine.

During Black Friday chaos and the three days following, both Blu-ray hardware and movie sales were good, according to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president David Bishop.  Popular movie "Hancock" sold 300,000 Blu-ray units during six days of release -- including Black Friday and the weekend -- with reports of retailers selling out of Blu-ray players, Bishop said.

"The positive in all this is the momentum we are getting from Blu-ray," Bishop told Home Media Magazine.  "It is continuing to grow and 200 percent to 300 percent year-over-year, and the ratio of Blu-ray and DVD sales continues to rise.  That calls for optimism.  For anyone who said that people would just go to digital and skip Blu-ray that has certainly proven not to be true.  Even if you took Blu-ray seperately as a revenue stream, it is probably 20 times larger than digital revenue"

Prior to Black Friday, analysts couldn't agree as to whether or not Blu-ray players would sell well; despite the steep price cuts, a struggling economy was expected to help slow down sales.

Consumers were hesitant to purchase a standalone Blu-ray player because of the extremely high retail price, but prices have dropped, and it'll be interesting to see if Sony, Samsung and other manufacturers will have sales success.  Sony assumes because a larger number of consumers are finally adopting Blu-ray, movie sales will also increase in the coming months as new Blu-ray owners look to purchase more movies.

Looking into the future, Sony obviously has an optimistic look towards Blu-ray sales:  "Well, it is a bit cloudy right now.  But again, I come back to the growth of Blu-ray and I think we are in for a nice ride upward.  The upside on all this depends on what happens at retail.  All things being equal, it should be another 150 percent growth rate for Blu-ray.  By and large we can count on that piece of the business because there is going to be a level of enthusiasm about the format that people will recognize as a value and go out and purchase."

Although it's true digital streaming isn't near as large as DVDs or Blu-ray, it seems more consumers are interested in being able to stream videos and other content directly to their TV.  Samsung and other manufacturers who are interested in supporting Netflix indicates manufacturers are willing to embrace streaming content as long as consumers still purchase the standalone player.

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