DVD Sales Plummet.....Blu Ray not enuf to make up

The article below is copied from a Yahoo tech article.


DVD sales plummet, Blu-ray unable to save the day

The numbers for 2008 are in and they don't look good: DVD sales are now showing the first signs that they're about to go into free-fall, just like sales of CDs did a few years ago.

For the second year running, DVD sales have slipped. After hitting a high of $24.1 billion in 2006, the total sales volume his $21.6 billion in 2008, a total decline of about 10 percent off the 2006 high.

DVD's purported savior -- Blu-ray -- has been unable to rise to the rescue so far. Blu-ray (and leftover HD DVD) disc sales hit just $750 million last year, which doesn't nearly make up for the loss in sales of DVD media. Since Blu-ray discs are more expensive than DVDs, the overall unit sales decline is even more worrisome for Hollywood -- and some studios are seeing income plummet accordingly. For example, Fox operating income dropped 72 percent last year after seeing DVD sales fall just 15 percent.

Hits aren't going to save the day, either: Warner Bros. had the #1 selling DVD of 2008, The Dark Knight, but saw overall DVD sales drop 24 percent nonetheless. Disney -- running out of "classics from the vault" to reissue -- had a whopping 33 percent drop in DVD sales last year.

Naturally, the recession is being targeted as the culprit for all the bad news, but pundits say other factors are at play. One big issue? Former Fox and Disney executive Bill Mechanic says that the introduction of Blu-ray media has led studios to radically cut prices on their older DVDs as they attempt to position Blu-ray as a superior good. That plan may have backfired, instead driving consumers to snap up cheap DVDs instead. Says Mechanic, "It’s devalued the libraries. If you can buy Titanic for $4.99 versus $19.99 for a new, but lesser, movie on Blu-ray, consumers will say, 'Well, wait a minute…'"

To be sure, Blu-ray is growing -- up 250 percent since 2007 -- but it still represents less than 3.5 percent of the overall market. Analysts now wonder whether Blu-ray will be able to pick up steam fast enough -- or if the future has already been handed over to online downloading and streaming alternatives. With companies like Netflix rushing into streaming as quickly as possible, that certainly seems like a strong possibility.
first of all, disney isn't running out of anything..literally still have thousands of properties never released to dvd or e-commerce. same for the other major studios....is there a slowdown? sure, but America is hurting right now, and entertainment dollars are thin....even digital delivery of music is slowing. welcome to a world with less abundance.
Personally I think Blu-Ray is overrated. Certainly it is superior to DVD. But a DVD on an inexpensive, coupled/isolated OPPO with good cables into a 1080p LCD and fed into a two-channel system is pretty damned impressive with excellent sound. And, in this economy I can't personally justify the cost of a Blu-Ray disk when I can pick up 3-4 lightly used DVDs at my local pawnshop or estate/garage sale for about $10. And, there's a lot available. Especially is you haven't seen everything or just want to get some keeper classics.
I use my cable company's "on demand" feature all the time, I'm sure it's cut into my dvd buying. It's the best thing about my cable, actually.

I mean... how many dvds do you ACTUALLY want/need to own? I would say that 90% of the dvds I've bought I'll never watch again and should have just rented, it's just that netfli* killed all the dvd rental places around here and we don't have an account with said mail-order outfit.

The movie houses should probably thank Netfli* for a few years of inflated sales...
It's only a matter of time before Blu Ray dominates.
As Blu Ray players become cheaper and cheaper, Blu Ray disc sales will pick up.

The problem is that studios want to milk DVD sales as much as possible. They do make a ton of money off of DVD sales. And shifting to Blu Ray too soon will limit their profit potential of DVDs.

DVDs were really a stop gap when they were introduced in the late 1990's. The High Definition standard was already developed and 1080i existed (although it required amazingly expensive upsamplers to get there). The problem was that there was no disc technology that could hold or read the bandwidth that HD needed. In 2000, scientist finally isolated the violet laser beam and were able to use it to read really small pits of information on disks; thus, began the evolution of HD disks (HD DVD and Blu Ray).

I have a great OPPO player that upsamples to 1080P and I have a Sony PS3 hooked up to a 42" Samsung LCD HDTV. Hands down the PS3 with a Blu Ray disk is way better. Upsampling video makes it look too soft.

I do not think America is ready to not own there media. Especially since Home Theater has exploded. Since the VHS and Betamax days, we have always been able to own our movies. It is going to be difficult for the movie industry to get us to convert to that way of thinking (especially with the prevalence of TIVO). Interestingly, I have read that this is the way movie houses want us to go. They want the pay each time you play. They want to be able to control their product absolutely. I am not sure however they will make more money in the long run if they stopped selling media outright. They have gotten so addicted to the income from this, they will have a difficult time adjusting. Especially considering all the digital recorders out there. People will just order the digital broadcast of a movie and then tape it with a DVR. Hard drive space will be so cheap, that people will have huge movie collections all on hard drives.

Between streaming content via my Apple Tv and Streaming many NetFlix movies via my Xbox, I am definitely not using many discs to watch movies these days. I think the future is already here.
The low definition future is definitely here; some of us, however, appreciate high def video and, especially, lossless sound.
Bar81 either of the options I mention offer 1080p resolution, and Dolby Digital Sound through digital outs into your favorite DAC. True, not the new lossless high definition sound of Blu-Ray. While I am a true believer in "good as you can get" sound for music, it is not as much of a priority for me for movies. As you note, for some of us, things are different. But given that until very recently 1080i was all you could do, and most movies had, at best Dolby Digital or DTS sound, this is pretty darn good and much more convenient.
I'm not interested in 'pretty darn good'. I want the image and the sound to kick ass. That's why we call it home theater.

Streaming just doesn't cut it.
fair enough. some people go full bore on the music, some do it with the movies, some both. that's the beauty of the hobby -- choices
I do agree BluRay is only marginally better and not enough for most to adopt both the new player and its higher priced movies and as long as DVD is still around Blu Ray isnt gonna compete fast enough to help any studio. If somebody wants to suggest BR is way better then go for it but I own HDVD and borrowed BR players and also view them on a 92in HD Projector, while its better its not enough better than my Lexicon 480P to fuss over.......nor is the sound (which before you jump in was wired from internal decoder into Multi channel RCA).
All the same I will likely go BR this year as I simply am a nerd and want it.
Next we will see a bailout for Hollywood or perhaps some stupid voucher to buy a BluRay player but as long as movies cost what they do and the stars command insane salaries for often really crap material and performance I will have no tears for any of them.
I don't see the value in purchasing movies anymore regardless of BR (fantastic!) or DVD. We use our Blockbuster subscription by mail or walk-in to basically watch any movie we want anytime we want. We have a pretty decent DVD collection but rarely use it, maybe a couple time a month.
This thread is certainly a study in perceptions and values. Some posters here have much nicer displays than I do but don't think Blu-ray is worth the extra trouble and money. My HD display is a lowly 55" LCD-driven rear-projection 720p Hitachi. I don't have 120Hz refresh nor any way to display 24fps in native mode. And yet, once I saw my first HD DVD (and later, Blu-ray) discs played over my TV, I swore I'd never buy another std-def DVD again, and that's been an easy promise to live up to. I want all the resolution I can get. I pay the extra $1/mo. to have Blu-ray in my Netflix profile, and I have filled my queue with Blu-ray discs.

I can barely stand to watch std-def DVDs on my TV. And I also know that this is nowhere nearly as good as it can get. I've seen 1080p Blu-ray sources played over 1080p displays that can display native mode 24 fps, and it's better than movie theaters. It's also way better than HD cable.

I'm also not set up to decode the lossless codecs yet, but even the Blu-ray's downconverted soundtracks sound better than std-def DVD because of the faster transfer rate.

Some Blu-ray discs have an indifferent digital transfer, and the 1st gen discs (from 2007) were mostly crammed onto 25 GB single-layer discs, but the latest ones have been excellent and some--especially those from Paramount--are breathtaking.

I refuse to half-close my eyes and pretend std-def DVD is as good as the theater or Blu-ray. It isn't.
If you cant stand or "barely" can watch a SD DVD then something is wrong with your player, monitor or eyes, if I were to have you over for a movie on my 92in Projector fed by a 480P DVD signal you would never notice. I noted earlier that I own HDDVD and borrowed a BR disc player and its just not heads and tails better......its better but not like VCR to DVD, the players cost isnt an issue for me but the movie cost is criminal IMO.
Chadliz, I completely agree that cost is too high. But I remember this same discussion about 10-12 years ago regarding sd dvd vs. vhs. True quality dvd had better quality but cost difference was huge. I think as more options with br 2.0 are available and cost comes down opinions will change. In the meantime I buy used on ebay for $10-12 max.
The cost may be high if you buy retail but if you're that cost sensitive just wait until the inevitable Amazon discounts, particularly B2G1 which leave you with Blu-Rays typically at $15-18/each.
While my NEC Plazma is 720P I feed it Blu Ray at 1080P (which it can handle via either component or HDMI) and the Blu Ray format is so much better that I will always check the Blu Ray offerings at Netflix before going standard.
What isn't plummeting?????????????????
blu ray costs are coming down
you have to shop around and amazon pre orders are great
rentals are a great way to screen quality
as are the avs blu ray forums (sometimes too critical)

blu ray on a projector may not be as fabulous as on a good plasma - Pioneer Kuro or Panasonic the medium you'll see the most difference on

- the quality (unless the transfer is subpar) is very stunning and beats upsampled dvd
IMO opinion even many budget Projectors blow away the Plasma simply on scale, yes Plasma units like my dad's 58in
Panasonic look great but nothing is like a good movie on a reasonable Projector at 90+inches.
Well, if quantity is the only consideration then you'd be correct. However, some people are concerned about quality.
Bar81,.... I have a very nice 60 inch 1080p plasma in another room. It displays a beautiful picture in Blu-Ray. The same movie on my 240 inch diagonal projection screen is a much better movie experience....the 60 inch plasma is not even close. Much more quantity with outstanding quality and a quantum leap in immersion equals a much better home theater experience. Bigger is better......that's why the general public still goes to commercial theaters.
And some people don't go to the theater because as big as the screen is, the quality is generally crap. The fact that people go to theaters doesn't establish anything other than that people go to theaters.
Still, most movies were made to be projected. I have both Plazma and Projector and the really best movies are reserved for the projector.

Also, There is nothing like the Superbowl on HD being projected.
On my 50" 720P plasma, DVD (I have a once $2,000 dvd player, with Anthem D2 scaling/de-int), DVD is passable, but always fuzzy and a bit grainy.

Blu-Ray is much, much more clear, and the lossless audio sounds significantly better than the compressed DD or DTS audio.

It's the same thing as SD TV content vs HD. There is an incredible difference in quality.

I'm actually pretty surprised that it seems several audiophiles don't see a major, major increase in both video and audio quality in Blu Ray vs DVD.
Bar81 ..... depends on where you you go to watch your movies. here in LA, they've got some really good theatres. Great sound and picture. The ArcLight and the Imax at The Bridge here have first rate sound and projection that no home theater can approach. There, you've got quality and quantity. That's what home theater aspires to.

A big quality system is better than small quality system every time.

Go big if you can.

I also use Anthem D2. Agreed.
I'm surprised at the amount of people saying that Blu Ray is only "marginally better"! You're comparing the DVD's upsampled and Blu ray discs at 1080P/24 right and you still don't see the difference? I disagree strongly. I have a 50" Panasonic 1080P in the den and a 123" screen with a Infocus 7205 720p projector in a dedicated theatre. Both are outstanding and when viewing upsampled DVD's they still cannot reproduce the fine detail and colour that Blu ray has.Just my 2 cents.
the people who justify upsampled dvd versus blu ray
haven't seen enough blu ray

not even close unless the transfer was a real poor effort

I have yet to see a projection screen that is better than a pioneer kuro - it may be big, but it loses the nuances

60" 8' away is plenty of immersion
I'm 55, have a pretty strong eyeglass prescription, and yet I can easily tell the difference between upsampled 480p and Blu-ray displayed to my 2005 model Hitachi 720p native mode RP LCD display.

And it's nowhere near what you can get with Blu-ray 1080p/24 into a 120 or 72 Hz 1080p display.

1080p/24 not only destroys upsampled 480p, you'll be hard-pressed to find a movie theater with as good a picture. Blu-ray 1080p/24 isn't an incremental improvement over DVD, it offers better resolution than 35mm and is at least competitive with 70mm and IMAX.
amen Johnny B
I don't know what people are watching who can't see the difference - I even saw it on my old 720p set

lets hope for real no holes bared excellent transfers of
Laurence of Arabia
American Beauty
Dr Zhivago
The Graduate

do them right, take your time
do them sloppy, I won't buy
avs blu ray forum is great for reviews
although some see an artifact in everything
Blu-ray too much for me to pay. My TV is 37" 750P TV and it just isn't worth spending the extra money for a Blu-Ray discs.
"Blu-ray too much for me to pay."

No need to buy, unless you are set on building a "collection."

I use Netflix, and it costs me $1 extra per month to be able to have access to the entire blu-ray library.
Blu Ray may be vastly superior to DVD but unless the average Joe cares it will inevitably fail just like SACD. This has been my feeling since long before the HD DVD/Blu Ray war was over. Personally, I'm still watching DVDs and quite happy with them myself. I doubt enough average Joes will buy in to keep this afloat for long.
Goatwuss.....I just got an email from NetFlix yesterday telling me that my current fee of $1 per month to be able to have access to the entire blu-ray library will now be $9 per month to have access to their library on the next billing cycle. Their explanation was that they're investing more money into Blu Ray and have to pass the expense on to us, the subscribers. I'm sure you got the email soon after you posted your last note here.

......I currently rent 8 movies at a time, someone renting fewer discs will pay less. It looks like it will be a premium of $1.15 per disc-at-a-time to get Blu-Ray discs from NetFlix. I'm going to cut my subscription in half to four at a time and save the dough. I'm not watching as many movies now as I used to anyway.

All this looks like Netflix is making a serious commitment to Blu Ray.s Whatever they decide to charge, I'm still going to rent Blu Ray discs from them. I'm in too deep to not get Blu Ray.
Hi Mitch,

Funny timing... I got the email too ( :

8 movies at a time! Wow, that's a serious netflix account. I have the plan where I get 3 movies out at a time, and they said they are raising me up to $4 monthly for the bluray...

I just spent $4.50 on a coffee and a muffin for breakfast... I'm keeping the blurays!
Blockbuster has a great Blu-ray catalog and they don't charge extra for them. Looks like netflix is cutting their own throat. I dropped netflix after they kept purposely slowing down deliveries. I also love that I can get 5 free rentals per month through the blockbuster in-store exchanges.
A lot of times, when one company in an industry makes a change like this, others follow suit. You can probably expect Blockbuster to put some sort of tariff on Blu Ray in the near future also.
No matter how you try to explain it, the price for the Blue Ray disc is what is keeping it back.

Yeah there are some cheaper sales, but in all, most retail stores have them at $29.99. This is way too much compared to what we pay for DVD's. (About double)
"No matter how you try to explain it, the price for the Blue Ray disc is what is keeping it back.

Yeah there are some cheaper sales, but in all, most retail stores have them at $29.99. This is way too much compared to what we pay for DVD's. (About double)"

Yep and I am building a Video Library thats the fun of having a Home Theater. My Passion now is concert DVDs.
"Yep and I am building a Video Library thats the fun of having a Home Theater."

For me, the fun of having a home theater is watching movies ;)
Hey Goatwuss

I am not trying to talk you out of enjoying Blu-Ray, just explaining why I don't. If I had a 60" TV, maybe I too would want to watch Blu-Ray, but with a 37" TV not worth it to me.

I am not going to upgrade to a bigger TV any time soon because nothing bigger will fit the space I have for the TV.

Audio is more important to me than Video anyway.
You can be a member of the Blockbuster club for thirty five dollars a month (little more the price of one Bluray disc) and get two discs at a time. This includes DVD or Bluray. This is not two discs a day; but rather two discs at a time. As soon as you finish watching the two movies, you can go back and get two more on the same day. Some times I've watched six movies in one day, and again this only costs thirty five dollars a month. With this arrangement, WHO NEEDS TO BUY DVD OR BLURAY DISCS? Purhaps this is what is killing discs sales. I'm in hog heaven with this Blockbuster membership!