Blu-ray Wesley Novack on 07 Jan 2008
Blu-ray Disc Association Press Conference: CES 2008
The event kicked off with Andy Parsons going over Blu-ray sales stats from 2007. Blu-ray outsold HD DVD in every single week of last year. Blu-ray content sold more than 2 to 1 over HD DVD in the United States, the most competitive market. Blu-ray Disc has an even more commanding lead in other markets, such as Japan, where Blu-ray sales account for 90% of the high definition packaged media sold. With Warner now Blu-ray exclusive, approximately 70% of all content is now exclusive to the Blu-ray Disc format.
Danny Kaye spoke about Blu-ray player device penetration in 2008. The BDA projects 10 million Blu-ray playback devices will have been sold by the end of 2008. With this hardware footprint, they estimate $1 billion in Blu-ray content sales in 2008.
David Bishop took the stand and spoke about the PS3, how it has helped the format, and how Sony is working to ensure that consumers are aware that it is not just a gaming machine, but also a Blu-ray Disc player. BD Profile 1.1 was also discussed. The goal is to refer to these players and content as “Bonus View”. Discs and players will be branded as “Bonus View” players. Resident Evil Extinction was highlighted as a BD Live product. Other BD Live capabilities were mentioned, such as trailer downloads, multi-player online games and ringtones.
Bob Chapek discussed the Disney Magical Blu-ray tour and how effective it has been in educating consumers. It was announced that the Magical Blu-ray tour has officially been extended to 8 new markets and will continue in 2008.
Ron Sanders (pictured above) spoke about the “Future is Blu” campaign. Due to the Warner move, the BDA will now be able to focus on the Blu future, without worrying about a format war. Fence sitters will now know that a Blu-ray future is assured. It was mentioned that the Warner move to Blu-ray exclusivity was made in the best interests of the packaged media business, to pull the industry forward into a unified format.
Steve Beeks reaffirmed that the consumers and the market has chosen Blu-ray. “War” has been Lionsgates’ most successfuly Blu-ray Disc release thus far.
Q & A
Press: Does the Warner Blu-ray decision extend to New Line & HBO as well?
Ron Sanders: New Line & HBO will make their own decisions, but our press release contained a quote from an HBO executive, so you can draw your own conclusions there.
Press: Did the BDA pay Warner to go Blu-ray exclusive?
Ron Sanders: I wish. We could use the money. (audience laughter)
Press: Has a Blu-ray combo disc been considered? With a standard DVD included?
Danny Kaye: We wouldn’t want to sacrifice the quality of the format, or any capacity. There is nothing stopping a particular studio from including a standard DVD along with a Blu-ray Disc inside the packaging.
Press: Will there be more deep catalog titles released on Blu-ray soon?
Multiple BDA members: As more consumers purchase Blu-ray hardware, more and more content will be made available. Current available content is targetted towards the early adopters and what they would prefer. This will change as more and more consumers adopt Blu-ray and more content choices will become available.
There were also more questions and answers given, but these were some of the more interesting ones.
The Blu-ray Disc Association companies are in a celebratory mood. Warner’s decision to go Blu-ray exclusive has everyone believing that Blu-ray will be the logical choice as the next mass adopted home video format. The Blu-ray Disc Association has the momentum now and it looks as though it will be a very Blu future.