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Report: Blu-ray Sales Falling Short Of Expectations Even As Prices Decline. Are you still buying?

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#1 of 373 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 08 2011 - 04:32 AM

Deadline.COM posted a very interesting report today on the decline of Blu-Ray sales.  Deadline.COM's report is coming from a report released today from NPD group.

From Deadline.COM:

A research report this morning from The NPD Group confirms the prevailing narrative that the home video business is in trouble -- although you might miss that if you just look at the upbeat headline on its release: "Consumers Still Positive On Blu-ray." NPD found that 116 million adults bought a DVD or Blu-ray disc in the six months ending in March, down 9.4% from the same period last year. The firm says Hollywood studios are partly to blame. They released weaker titles in early 2011 vs the same period in 2010. Even so, analyst Russ Crupnick says that "the physical video-disc market was a bit disappointing." It shows that "Blu-ray may not be the replacement for DVD that many once hoped for." NPD played up the fact that 15% of all consumers used a Blu-ray player in the six month period, up from 9% last year. And 22% of all disc buyers bought at least one Blu-ray title. Are consumers warming to the format because of its sharp images and extra features? Crupnick says that's part of the story: "The fact that prices are now within the budgetary range acceptable to rank-and-file consumers is helping to bolster the overall value proposition of the Blu-ray format," he says. But 57% of adults still used a standard DVD player, same as in 2010.

For me personally, I have a pretty strict guideline on Blu-Ray discs.... 98% of the time I only buy them if they are under $9.99 (exceptions are Disney titles that my son hounds me about).  I buy alot of used blu-ray's on Amazon.COM.  There is another factor for my descreased movie watching... two kids...  I used to do Netflix for blu-ray rental and streaming, but that doesn't really provide a good ROI for me as I can't watch movies like I used to.  Redbox is a better option for me on renting as it is a better value proposition for my watching habits.  Of course, I also record a ton of movies from HBO, ShowTime, Cinemax on my Windows 7 Media Center box (I'm at 16TB or recorded HD movies).

At the end of the day, I buy blu-ray discs because I want the best video and audio quality and right now there is not other option that comes close to blu-ray disc for vidoe and audio quality.

Will that change?  I'm hopeful that Ultraviolet will close that gap when it launches later this year and allow me to have a true HD movie stored on my HDD to allow me to watch it whenever and wherever I want with matching quality to a blu-ray disc.

#2 of 373 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted June 08 2011 - 04:40 AM

I answered "on release date" but here's the caveat: if I really like the title and can find a reasonable street date price (usually Amazon or Best Buy release week sale) then I buy. If it's a catalog title that I know will be discounted within a few months, I'll wait on it. I'd say most of my purchasing is 65% the former, 35% the latter. I buy BDs at roughly the same rate I bought DVDs. The main reason for any decline is the comparative lack of catalog titles on BD (as opposed to DVD). If the studios opened the floodgates on their back catalog, I'd be buying a lot more. Also, I don't know how anyone can draw definitive conclusions based on 2009-11 data. I'm sorry, am I the only one stuck in America's worst recession since the Great Depression? Think that's skewing the sales charts a bit?

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#3 of 373 OFFLINE   Bryan^H



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Posted June 08 2011 - 04:53 AM

Originally Posted by Carlo Medina 
Also, I don't know how anyone can draw definitive conclusions based on 2009-11 data. I'm sorry, am I the only one stuck in America's worst recession since the Great Depression? Think that's skewing the sales charts a bit?

Good point.

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#4 of 373 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted June 08 2011 - 04:58 AM

Same here, on both points.

#5 of 373 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted June 08 2011 - 05:12 AM

I regularly buy Blu-rays, but they don't come out in the same numbers as the DVDs did in the prime of that wave. Yes, disc sales are down - but that's also due to the overwhelming majority of catalogue material having already been released over the past 14 years - some of them more than four or five times.  At a certain point, most consumers already have the big titles they want, and aren't about to repurchase them.  I am willing to repurchase if there is something interesting on the Blu-ray, or if the transfer is going to make that much of a difference.   If this is a movie that I can live with on DVD, I'm happy to stay with the copy I already have. And yes, the recession of the past several years has played a part in the problem.  As the economy gets better, I think we'll see that situation improve and sales will increase again - but not to the level that DVD hit at its peak. I'm still not sold on online viewing - Blu-ray is simply better all the way around in terms of picture, sound and extras.  And as I've said before, if your only way to access a movie is to download it or get a key registered online, you'll have a big problem when your internet connection goes on the blink, as happens a lot with Time Warner, for example.  In that event, you'll go back to the way we used to be entertained:  With a nice book.

#6 of 373 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC



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Posted June 08 2011 - 05:33 AM

Release something I want, I will buy. Impulse buying and blind-buying are things of the past for me. I'll usually wait until someone wants to get rid of a used copy on Amazon - there's no sense in paying close to full retail on street date. Finally, I think the strategy of measuring sales from month to month is silly. I don't buy the same number of movies during the same week in March every year. However, I do buy a lot of stuff between late August and early October when studios release their Horror titles.
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#7 of 373 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 08 2011 - 05:37 AM

I agree with all the comments so far. There's been a major uptick in my BD-buying lately, but that's entirely due to Blockbuster's 5-for-$20 sale and going-out-of-business sale (at one local store).
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#8 of 373 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted June 08 2011 - 05:47 AM

I buy more blu-ray discs than the number of DVD I bought in, say 1999 and 2000. If it's a movie (or TV series) I really want, I always pre-order; if it's a movie I already have on DVD (and not in my very-top-must-own-list), I may wait for some discount. The exception are most Criterion BD's: their high price is very rarely matched by their quality, so I definitely wait for a substantial discount - in most cases. Cees

#9 of 373 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted June 08 2011 - 06:02 AM

I'm buying, but not nearly as many as I did on DVD and I wait for big discounts. I also don't repurchase catalog titles that I've already got on DVD since I really don't see that much of an improvement to compensate for the additional cost of the discs. DVD's look great projected on my 96" screen. I'm actually still purchasing more DVD's, including new releases, than BR's. The only time I usually go for the BR is if the price is very close to the DVD price. I recently purchased "The Mechanic" on BR at $16.99 which was just $2 higher than the DVD, but purchased "Red" awhile back on DVD because the BR price was significantly higher even for the bare-bones, non-HD audio, disc.
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#10 of 373 OFFLINE   rayman1701


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Posted June 08 2011 - 06:06 AM

I answered Yes on Release date, and for the most part that holds true for New Titles that I want or Catalog titles that I don't already have.  On catalog titles I already have it can be on release date if it's a title that is one of my favorites, but if I'm replacing a DVD I may wait until a good sale.  Also if it's a box-o-junk set then I may get the UK version without the box, or wait until it's released here without the box.  And I really liked and used the Warner Red2Blu & DVD2Blu trade in programs and would love for other studios to do similar programs, it allowed me to upgrade to Blu on a budget AND then use that budget to buy other titles on Blu-ray, which as I see it is a win-win.  One other thing, on sets that seem over priced like the Superman set I ordered that from the UK  at a much lower price, or getting a particular diffrent cut of a title on an import or getting something like Tora, Tora, Tora imported since it hasn't been released here yet. There are so many more purchasing options today that studies like this may not take into account all the ways someone might buy a Blu-ray disc, especially if it only covers US sales.  That's the nice thing about the internet, we aren't tied to what local stores may have in stock or the prices that they have on what they do stock.  I love being able to find exactly what I want, wherever that might be. PS. I'm not sold on the whole Internet Streaming thing either.  Especially after AT&T put in the download limits.  But the quality just isn't what I'm interested in when I want to watch something.


#11 of 373 OFFLINE   mattCR


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Posted June 08 2011 - 06:19 AM

I don't buy as many as I once did, but I still buy quite a bit. Flat out, disposable income is spread much thinner then it was when DVD was a hot commodity. I assume quite a few people pass on rebuying titles on BD because they already have the DVD

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#12 of 373 ONLINE   David_B_K



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Posted June 08 2011 - 06:25 AM

I think I am buying them faster on Blu-ray than I did on DVD, and I am upgrading my favorites from DVD to Blu-ray. Occasionally, I find a receipt stuck in one of my old DVDs. They frequently were bought for $15 to $20. I replace them with Blu-rays (usually) at a cheaper cost for more quality. It's interesting how I spent more on laserdiscs per title; less on DVDs and now less on Blu-rays. I voted day of release.

#13 of 373 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted June 08 2011 - 06:25 AM

I still purchase a mix of catalog and new releases with catalog being the main focus.  Depending upon the initial price and desirability of the title I may wait for a discount price (such as a Deal of the Week or Goldbox) on amazon.  Also, I am being a little more selective with my purchases these days compared to my earlier purchasing habits with DVD.  I still upgrade a fair amount of catalog titles that I owned on DVD - but only if the price point is one that I consider reasonable. - Walter.
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#14 of 373 OFFLINE   Chuck Anstey

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Posted June 08 2011 - 06:48 AM

I needed the option: Wait for heavy discounts AND buy less than I used to with DVDs.  At $5 as long as I will watch it once but at $10-$15 I need to be sure it will get multiple playings.

#15 of 373 ONLINE   RobertR


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Posted June 08 2011 - 07:09 AM

 My purchases are almost exclusively catalog titles.  I'm fairly selective, but if it's a movie I like, I'll buy it on BR.

#16 of 373 OFFLINE   benbess



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Posted June 08 2011 - 07:12 AM

I buy more blus than I ever did dvds. The pq just looks more "worth it" to me on blu. And I do more blind buying than I ever did with DVDs for nicely restored and well reviewed classics on blu-ray. My price point tends to top out at $20, although I certainly love and sometimes wait for the sub $10 sales... Blu-ray is not quite the cash cow that DVD was ten years ago, but it's still a very profitable format for studios and pretty much the only game for physical format in town that has strong growth.

#17 of 373 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted June 08 2011 - 07:26 AM

I'm still buying, but not nearly the way I used to buy DVDs. The recession is one obvious reason for my change in purchasing habits. But another one is this: when I started collecting DVDs, I was able to get my hands on all sorts of movies I had never owned before, in their OAR (which was reason alone to upgrade from VHS for me).  Now that I've got all of these DVDs, with more limited resources at my disposal, it's hard to justify buying another copy of something I already have and can watch, when the DVDs still fall into the "good enough" category.  If it's something I've never owned before, I'm more likely to get it than if it's something I had on DVD, but I'm still waiting for either a good discount, or for when I feel like watching it - I used to buy things right away and keep them on the shelf knowing I'd get there eventually, and I don't really do that anymore. Even were it not for a recession, having a big DVD collection has helped me get a better perspective on how often I watch certain things - so I'm buying less and less of titles that I might only watch once or twice - most of the things I have on Blu, I'm either gonna get many viewings out of to the point that it pays to own it instead of renting it once a year, and/or they have extensive special features making the purchase worthwhile. Also, not every Blu-ray title is up to the standards it should be - "Spartacus" is a good example of this.  This would have been a Day 1 purchase for me, but after hearing how bad it was, I opted for a rental, and decided that it wasn't an upgrade on my Criterion DVD.  There's a title I would have loved to have bought but just wasn't done well enough to justify it. That's not to say that I won't be buying Blu-rays in the future; hopefully at some point some sanity will be restored to the economy and it'll be easier to do these these things.  But I think the sheer number of DVDs I have that remain unwatched or barely watched, more than any other single factor, is the reason that I'm far less of an impulse buyer than I was 5 or 10 years ago.

#18 of 373 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted June 08 2011 - 07:33 AM

For big new releases I will buy when released (2-3 titles a month).  Based on the budget I have started being more selective when it comes to catalog.  I would love to eventually replace my DVDs, but the price has got to be right.

#19 of 373 OFFLINE   Bradley-E



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Posted June 08 2011 - 07:42 AM

I currently have about 715 blu ray titles.  I'm not ready to throw in the towel, I hate streaming and Digital Copies.  I love having the disc and love having a film library.  Honestly, I cannot imagine a world without any type of physical disc to own and hope I a right.  My opinion is we will have a big splurge continuing through this year and early next year of catalog titles.  After that I think studios will release Day/Date and catalog essentials leaving lower tier titles either never to be released, or to be licensed out to indie companies. The studios really have themselves to blame somewhat,  the format war delayed any kind of enthusiasm by consumers, they have really taken too long to get many big titles released and they treat it still like a niche. Universal had to support only HD DVD even though the numbers were not encouraging vs. what Blu ray was pulling in. Warner releases beloved titles like Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind it expensive box sets only at first instead of affordable $20. editions that casual buyers will pickup.  To consumers it looks like some kind of niche product and not anything they need to consider. Disney and Paramount have just been awful regarding their classic libraries.  We are 5 years into the format and Disney hasn't released Mary Poppins?   At this point will we ever see it or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or any Touchstone films ever again?  I'd love to have Ed Wood on Blu ray.  Is that being considered?  They have not release a Touchstone catalog title all year!  Maybe Criterion?  I cannot Imagine Mill Creek releasing that title. Paramount could not make up their minds, first both formats, then HD DVD and back to Blu ray.  Not to mention the lack of catalogs from them.  Most of what they released is nearly out of print because of slow sales.  That is because nobody wants to pay $24.00 for Hot Rod or re-buy Fatal Attraction or Grease at such a high price.  Catalog titles need to start at $20.00 price point for A titles and $15.00 or less for lesser titles. Granted they have been doing well this year. But considering how they have publicly quoted that they were reevaluating the Home Video division it may end this year.  We will probably only get Day/Date titles. I do think Sony is really the best of amongst the major studios, probably because it was their baby.  They have been consistent with PQ, with affordable pricing and they release day/date almost all of the Sony Classic Pictures titles.  Outside of Criterion they are tops with Foreign Language films and I love them for that. I think the DVD only Sku's will cease quickly and new release DVD's will only be in a combo pack with Blu ray.  It seems like the new trend.  Hopefully Blu ray will continue to remain for years to come.

#20 of 373 OFFLINE   Albert71292


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Posted June 08 2011 - 07:52 AM

I buy newer stuff I want on Blu-ray. I don't necessarily wait for discounts, nor do I always buy on release day. Just whenever I want a particular title, I get it when I can. If it's something I want that I know will never get a Blu-ray release, like a videotaped TV show from the 70's or 80's, I go ahead and buy the DVD version. Don't have enough bandwidth for reliable streaming.