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Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected 477

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the can-we-just-have-emusic-for-video-already dept.
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Sony has warned investors that it expects to take a hit on expected earnings (PDF), due in part to the fact that demand for Blu-ray Disc media is contracting faster than anticipated. In two weeks, Sony will announce its financial results. The company expects to post a net loss. Sony's warning is in line with other industry indicators, such as a report released earlier this year by Generator Research showed revenue from DVD and Blu-ray sales will likely decrease by 38% over the next four years. By comparison, online movie revenue is expected to grow 260% from $3.5 billion this year to $12.7 billion in 2018, the report states. Paul Gray, director of TV Electronics & Europe TV Research at market research firm DisplaySearch, said consumers are now accustomed to the instant availability of online media, and 'the idea of buying a physical copy seems quaint if you're under 25.'" Especially when those copies come with awful DRM.
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Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

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  • Re:Contracting? (Score:5, Informative)

    by webmistressrachel (903577) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:51PM (#46924007) Journal

    The problem has always been the price of burners and discs. Blu Ray seemed awesome when I first saw it, but I never could justify the cost, what with these cheap generic +R's and WinRAR to split stuff... oh not to mention cheap almost-disposable drives.

  • Re:Contracting? (Score:3, Informative)

    by John Stock (3421943) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:51PM (#46924015)
    It's not that Blu-Ray failed. It's that physical media failed and most people turned to online sources or streaming.
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:05PM (#46924125)

    And in some cases the video is exactly the same (grain per grain) as the DVD, and perhaps even with inferior audio and features. The studios decided to just ship out any crap and we would pay a premium because it was on BluRay. Some of us fell for it once or twice but eventually learned and went back to buying DVDs. Blame downloading services if you want, but I much prefer to own a physical DVD than a DRM crippled download of lower quality with repressive DRM or not even having the download at all, just watching and then having nothing. And I do like the extra features on discs and the ability to watch again or even lend the disc to a friend. There are lots of advantages to physical media, but several disadvantages to BluRay. I expect some studio execs would rather blame downloading for the decline in BluRay sales than take responsibility for decisions they made.

    And, yes, I know that DVDs have DRM too, but it tends to be much less of a problem for most users.

  • by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:08PM (#46924155)

    HD-DVD allowed DRM free creation (which meant no licensing fees) and could even be burned onto existing DVD media. The HD-DVD format was even web stream able.

    It was a reason I was a big fan of HD-DVD. Unfortunately everyone just saw the capacity and totally missed the horrible, awful DRM side.

  • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Informative)

    by captjc (453680) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:14PM (#46924209)

    1) Wait a few months.Blu-rays come down in price. If it is an older movie, many come out at around $15 - $20 and go to around $5-$10 fairly fast. Check Amazon.

    2) Currently the best way to watch Blu-rays on the PC is MakeMKV. Rip to an MKV (~30 -60 mins) and watch it on your PC or then use something like Handbrake and convert it to MP4 and watch it on practically anything (AppleTV, PS3, whatever). HDCP bypassed! Yeah, you could buy PowerDVD or some other program to play Blu-rays, but for the price you are paying, you could buy a PS3. Plus there are less than legal ways of getting VLC to play Blu-rays as well, though it's not as convenient as a DVD.

    Sure, it would be nice if it had the support like DVDs have where you could just pop in the disc and it just plays but between the unskippable trailers and other crap they put on DVD's and Blu-rays these days, I just rip my discs.

  • Re:Blank Media (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tough Love (215404) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:23PM (#46924271)

    Maybe it would have served Sony well to make the format less user-offensive. Slow loading, Interminable trailers with no bypass. Offsensive "FBI WARNING". Crappy slow inconsistent menus coded in Java. I thought this was the 21st century.

  • Re:Blank Media (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:28PM (#46924311)

    The arrogance of Sony won't allow them to do that. They have a fetish for proprietary failed formats

    Failed Sony Formats...
    * Betamax http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]
    * MiniDisc http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]
    * HiFD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]
    * SSDS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]
    * BroadBand eBook http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]
    * Memory Stick http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org] (almost dead)
    * HDV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org] dying
    * Super Audio CD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]
    * Universal Media Disc http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org] (dying)

    Successful Sony Formats...
    + CD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]
    + Blu-ray http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

  • Example (Score:5, Informative)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:46PM (#46924435)
    Stargate was released on BluRay with the exact same video as the DVD, an awful two channel audio track, and even fewer subtitles than the DVD. After an up swelling of complaints from the public they did release a better version. But even a few years after that I bought a copy at WalMart and it ended up being the inferior older BluRay version, even though it was freshly sent out stock. I damn well assure you that I'm not going to buy the better version now that I know it exists. This is not the only case of studios doing this.
  • Re:Blank Media (Score:5, Informative)

    by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Monday May 05, 2014 @09:49PM (#46924849)

    Thanks to living in Australia, almost all my Blu-Rays are from the US region, and have been ripped and de-DRM'd so I can actually, you know, watch them.

    It feels like there's a lesson in here.

  • Re:Well duh (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday May 05, 2014 @10:25PM (#46925061) Homepage Journal
    Rip to an MKV (~30 -60 mins) and watch it on your PC or then use something like Handbrake and convert it to MP4 and watch it on practically anything (AppleTV, PS3, whatever)

    Not if the bluray include Cinavia. That sir is the devils work
  • Re:Blank Media (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @05:11AM (#46926609) Journal

    MiniDisc would have been massively successful if they'd pushed the MD-Data format. Back when they started talking about it, a Zip drive cost about £100 and the disks cost about £10 each. Portable MD recorders cost under £100 and the discs were about £1.50. I wanted one as soon as they were announced, but I never saw one for sale and the people in my local Sony shop didn't even know what they were. In 1997, they increased the capacity to 650MB, making them the same capacity as a CD, but smaller than a floppy disk. I'm not sure how much the 650MB discs were, but a CD-RW cost about £10 then and a CD-R about £1.

    I still don't understand how Sony had a format that was better than anything else on the market, existing economies of scale that would have made it possible to sell it for less than anything else on the market, and still failed.

  • Re:Blank Media (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @11:13AM (#46928991)

    the real reason bluray ''won'' the hd format war wasn't the slightly higher quality audio or video possible due to the higher data capacity.... it was **THAT** -- region locking.. bluray has it, hd dvd did not, and hollywood chose the format that had it.

    Blu-Ray also had two other features that Hollywood liked.

    1) Mandatory AACS encryption. HD-DVD made AACS optional, which meant "amateur" videographers could publish their own HD-DVDs without paying for an expensive AACS key. This also meant that self-publishing via HD-DVD recordables was possible.

    2) Profile Locking. A Blu-Ray movie uses the BDMV profile which gives you full access to interactivity features of Blu-Ray. This was only possible through pressed media enforced by ROM-Mark. People who burned their own Blu-Rays were forced to use BDAV instead, which meant you basically got a collection of videos. Again, it's not an attempt at the home videographer, but more for the independent filmmaker - because they couldn't make Blu-Rays as slick as what Hollywood could.

    The whole point of it all was less about home videos, and more about locking out the indies - if you weren't part of the MPAA, you couldn't make your own Blu-Rays, effectively. Of course, many third party publishers eventually bought their own AACS keys and mastering hardware and have contracts with (highly-regulated, again, supposedly to limit piracy) Blu-Ray disc pressers these days, so it's no longer a limitation.

    But back then, Hollywood used it as a way to block indie films from high-def. Heck, you couldn't put a burned BDMV disc into a commercial player other than a PS3 (because the players needed to read the key from ROM-Mark, and you couldn't burn that).

    These days, most players don't bother anymore - all that excess protections aren't used or needed because the original goals have been defeated - we can rip Blu-Rays even with BD+, indie filmmakers have lots of publisher choices to make their own professional Blu-Rays, etc.

    (And Blu-Ray took a couple of years for Profile 2.0 to come out - something HD-DVD had at launch).

    The extra space Blu-Ray had was because the tools were immature (HD-DVD forced their hand) so the only format available for compress was... MPEG2, while HD-DVD used either AVC (h.264) or VC1 (WMV9), and HD-DVD also had the space advantage - 30GB on a dual layer disc while Blu-Ray only had 25GB because pressing dual-layer BDs wasn't available and yields were too low.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...

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