Blue Ray Association: High Prices Set in Stone

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Mark Talmadge, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    According to an article over at Gozmodo, the Blu Ray Association is now saying that prices will be staying where they are until more consumers start buying their product. Apparently, there isn't enough to demand for their product to justify dropping the prices on their hardware and software.

    Blu-ray Association: Wallet-Slaying Prices Here to Stay Because You're Not Buying Enough Blu-ray

    After I read the article I found it kind of humorous. That's like saying "buy our product for 1200% markup. When we sell enough, then we'll drop our prices."

    The same thing was said about the CD format when it was released and the same crap was said about the DVD format. Consumers have a long memory and their not fooled. Sure, the format is selling but not by enough consumers and it's because of the price range that is stuck to the hardware and the software for the format.

    Sure, I've been tempted to buy into the format but it's the cost of the blu ray players and the software (i.e., movies) that has kept me away from the format. I keep remembering that old saying, "fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me." It looks like consumers have a long memory and they're not fooled.
     
  2. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Recognizing that several companies are involved in BD, I still think this is a welcome to the Sony mindset. They're notorious for maintaining premium prices (often on shoddy hardware, like the entire Sony home audio line) and stubbornly sticking with it.

    I have no problem with them doing that because with BD (and the PS3, too) I think they are providing a quality product. But if this thinking limits acceptance and hamstrings the success of BD, I'm not so happy.
     
  3. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Funny, i just got The Omega Man today on Blu-ray. It cost me $13 and some change. While i agree FOX could give me a break on prices, deals can be had. I think they just dont want Blu-ray to have the same devalued, super market checkout, impulse buy, that DVD has, and is now stuck with.

    Not that i have a problem buying $4 DVDs either. [​IMG]
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I don't understand the mentality.

    People aren't buying hardware and software because of the
    exorbitant pricing set in an economy that continues to sour
    by the day.

    At least other manufacturers (particularly display) are racing
    to offer hardware at consumer-friendly pricing. I have seen this
    first hand from our visit to Cedia.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Unlike Warner, some studios refuse to take short-term losses by reducing MSRP on catalog titles in order to grow the business by attacting new consumers to the blu-ray format with lower software costs. If certain studios want to know why deeper market penetration hasn't taken place then the only thing they need to do is to look at the retail prices being offered at BB, CC and Wal-mart. Case in point, I would like to own the original "The Omen" on Blu-ray, but I'm not going to pay $27.99 for it. I have over 300 BRD in my library, but when a consumer such as myself boycotts a title like "The Omen" due to its high price then somebody at certain studios needs to pay better attention as to why their product isn't moving like they hoped for.
     
  6. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    That article is a joke. It is hard to actually take any stock in that piece as it was simply a bad attempt to be funny. It also sound as though it was written by a HD-DVD supporter. The bit about "we told you so" gives that away.

    As far as price is concerned, I am perfectly ok with Blu-ray movies costing $5 more than DVD. It makes sense that I would have to pay more for better quality. That shouldn't really comes as a shock.

    Fillets cost more than hamburger.
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Exactly.

    This article is written by and for people who are scared of Blu-ray (they seem to think that their DVDs will automatically erase if other people buy Blu-ray so they keep going on and on about how Blu-ray is going to fail in a vain attempt to convince others) or people who are still mad about HD DVD's loss.
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Hmmm... As far as I can tell, the BDA didn't actually say they need to sell more *before* they cut prices, but rather, they need to develop the market more so that there would be more *real* potential customers for the product before cutting prices to meet those customers' demand. IOW, if you cut prices before people are even aware they'd really want the product, then you're taking a premature hit on your bottomline.

    You can't blame them for wanting to maximize the $$$-making potential in each move they make in the business plan. It's a fine line to walk the supply-and-demand curve, no?

    As for the rest, that just sounds like some folks putting a negative spin on what was actually said (for whatever reasons/agenda). Certainly, I didn't see the BDA say anything remotely like the high prices being "set in stone".

    _Man_
     
  9. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    It's common practice in consumer electronics to "soak" the early adopters. Those of us who fall into that group are well aware of this and, though we find it annoying, we go ahead and play the game as a cost of being part of that group.

    However, the HD disc is really the entertainment industry's path to the future. With the SD DVD market flattening out, they need to come up with the next contrivance that will let them resell all their titles again. HD disc is that contrivance. So far, it hasn't been a compelling selling proposition to the mass market partly because most customers don't seem to understand the benefits of HD and/or they don't see the additional interactive elements (enhanced special features) as a significant benefit over SD DVD. And --failing to understand/appreciate those advantages -- they have no intention of paying more for something that, to them, just ain't better.

    So, someone has to bend here. The industry has to get the software/hardware into a more affordable range to start growing the market among those who aren't early adopters but, given the right price, might jump fully to HD (they probably own an HDTV). Presumably, this group will naturally grow when all-digital broadcasting begins next year.

    Or, the industry has to make that costs/benefits argument in a much more convincing way to get customers to adopt the new technology and pay the higher prices. That's going to mean increased marketing.

    Either way, the ball is in the entertainment industry's court and its going to cost them money to return the serve and win the match. But creating a new market for a new product is ALWAYS a costly proposition.
     
  10. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I don't mind that. It's the $35 SRP on Dodgeball compared to $15 for the DVD with little sign that BD prices are going to slide downwards after the title has been out for a while that feels unreasonable.
     
  11. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    With the way the current slide is going on Wall Street, I wonder if the blu ray format is even going to survive.
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    When it's only $5 for most titles please let me know.
     
  13. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    [​IMG]

    The entertainment and electronics industries haven't been affected much, nor are they usually. If they didn't fail during the Reagan slides and during the S&L scandals of the 1980s (the rise of home video, BTW), they're not going to now.
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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  15. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    I'd like to see it as well. All I see is new releases coming out with a low price the first day and the BR $10+ more. As an avid DVD buyer before HD, my purchases have tailed of considerably because of the high prices. Only HDDvd are of interest to me because off the low prices.
     
  16. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Please give me strength.
     
  17. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    The linked article may be lousy, but there have been plenty of other recent "press releases" from Blu players that say similar: we will keep the prices high for the next 1-2 years. That's probably where they got their base info, it's just a poor synopsis, perhaps from somebody with a grudge...

    I can imagine the BD HW/SW makers have a lot of capital costs to recoup, not to mention their pay-offs to competitors...

    I haven't been seeing large price drops, maybe a buck or two on BD titles I bought some time ago, several bucks on the odd one. About 2001 in DVD-time.
     
  18. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    Jesse, I didn't buy that easily into it but it's not hard to believe. They also link to an exterior article that backs up that written piece.
     
  19. troy evans

    troy evans Screenwriter

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    Recently I've noticed some Warner titles coming down to $15 to $18. Some of the catalog stuff. Who knows, Warner decided the format war and perhaps they will have an affect on pricing. At least catalog titles. I always believed people wouldn't mind paying more for the player as long as the movies were reasonably priced. I guess we'll see.
     
  20. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    What's there to believe in either that article or another?

    I just said that, despite the various articles and the BDA "announcement", price drops in the real world have been happening for a while and are still going on. I can't fathom trusting an article or two versus the reality of the situation, especially when the "experts" have been wrong so many times before. After all, this isn't the first time this has happened. In late 2007 and early 2008, the BDA said $300 players weren't coming and the press repeated it ad nauseaum. But within a few months (March/April), 11 Chinese companies had signed on, the first sub-$300 player was on shelves, and several companies were getting ready to release new models. This time, the BDA says "prices will stay the same", the press falls for it again, and the very next week, a $270 player is announced, with expectations of a $200 price point for Xmas

    In other words, it's always worthwhile to wait and see before taking these kinds of articles at face value. Especially when the holidays are approaching. Anyone that believes that prices won't drop in November is kidding themselves, since it happens every single time.
     

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