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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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  • Blank Media (Score:5, Interesting)

    by webmistressrachel (903577) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:45PM (#46923961) Journal

    They should re-tool all of their factories, embrace the inevitable, and minimize (or prevent) losses by marketing it for storage and reducing the price of the discs and drives. The only thing that can save Blu-Ray now is to re-purpose it.

  • Contracting? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:47PM (#46923975) Journal

    Was it even ever popular? I never had a Blu-Ray player in my house and I have only held a internal player once in my hands. In my opinion, Blu-Ray has failed as a successor to DVD. Even in the autumn days of DVD, you can find disks and players everywhere. With the better Blu-Ray, adoption had been hurting and it has never seen the lift-off its predecessor had. I doubt that a successor to Blu-Ray will fare much better.

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

    by lgw (121541) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:50PM (#46924003) Journal

    I'll always prefer the disc, so I can feel like I paid for my BluRay rip. I don't like streaming much - I want a real file on the filesystem on my HTPC, with instant seeking and so on.

    For stuff to watch once, I still like Netflix by mail, but sadly Netflix doesn't - they seem determined to abandon the business.

  • by machineghost (622031) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:57PM (#46924073)

    Sony fought *hard* to make Blue-Ray the dominant standard. It was basically "everyone and their brother behind HDTV" vs. "Sony and a couple of their bestest buddies behind Blue-Ray" until Sony spent a ton to get exclusives and woo studios away, all so that they could monopolize the next generation of movies (and not repeat the Betamax experience).

    As somone who hates to see companies monopolize technology, the fact that all their efforts were largely wasted makes me very happy :-)

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:58PM (#46924087)

    br rips are great. on a local nas, totally great.

    on opto discs, uhm, not so great.

    files are ok. the player, its java garabage, forced watch segments, slow startup, screw that! the players are aweful and the whole architecture is ugly.

    the only good thing is that they are decent sources for further compression back into normal file sizes. the native BR discs take up way too much room, but rips and compressions of them are a good balance of storage and quality.

    I never owned a player and I think I have one disc (came with something). I won't help sony (et al) get rich from this by buying 'licensed' media and players. but I will enjoy the higher res files, thank you very much.

  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:00PM (#46924107)

    ...for those of us with projection screens. When you're looking at a 150" screen projecting at 1920X1080, a blu-ray is gorgeous, just like being in the theater. At 25mbits / sec, artifacts are nonexistant. With the reduced bitrates and resolutions of even "HD" streaming, it all shows up. Streaming is not quite there yet due to last mile problems at least here in the states.

    At this year's NAB conference in Vegas, 4K was starting to take over in a really big way. I was flabbergasted by the difference in adoption between last year and this year. Everyone had 4K gear. I don't know how long it will take that to filter down to the consumer market, but I don't think streaming services are going to be able to keep up at all for a while. A 4K disc format will hopefully be in the offing.

    That being said, Blu Ray has been a pretty raw deal for small and independent video producers. If you want to make a video and publish it on Blu Ray officially, you have to pay the Blu Ray consortium a hefty royalty fee up front and you are obligated to use DRM even if you don't want it. They have come down hard from the beginning so that you can't go to any replication house and get replicated BRDs made without going through this process. You're limited to burning BD-R discs on your own if you don't want to deal with that. Fortunately BD-Rs are 100% compatible with all Blu Ray players, unlike DVD-Rs and DVD players, which were very problematic with compatibility. (that's a long story in and of itself)

    I was initially happy that Blu Ray won over HD-DVD until I found out how bad it was to actually just get something replicated onto BRD. I don't know that HD-DVD would have been any better though.

  • by Thagg (9904) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:49PM (#46924459) Journal

    The FA says that Blu-ray disc sales are increasing, but overall disk sales are slowing because DVDs are contracting so quickly.

    Quoting the article. "Last year, about 124 million Blu-ray discs were sold in the U.S., a 4.2% increase over 2012, according to IHS Technology. Even so, because of reduced pricing for the format, revenue only increased 2.6%. DVD sales, which have been plummeting for years, dropped 13.6% last year."

    Blu-ray data rates are far higher than anything you can stream today, and people who care about that (not many of the commenters apparently :) ) apparently are still buying discs.

    I do come from the movie business, so I surely have a different perspective; but to filmmakers quality is paramount.

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

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:51PM (#46924479)
    At least give Sony credit for sticking with their products for their entire life cycle, unlike certain companies that drop stuff like a hot potato *cough* Microsoft *cough* Sega *cough* if the first sales report is shit.
  • Re:Contracting? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hambone142 (2551854) on Monday May 05, 2014 @09:19PM (#46924675)
    I have to agree with you. I bought a Sony BR player and it wouldn't play the BR discs I purchased. Needed an upgrade of firmware. I tried to do that and the process repeatedly failed. I called Sony and they said "it won't update properly via WiFi, use a cable. I ran a LAN cable 50 feet to my router. Same error. Returned the deck. I tried to play BR on my PC. More DRM crap. I'm not buying Blu Ray discs anymore. They are a pain in the ass to play (or "attempt to play").
  • Re:Blank Media (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @03:39AM (#46926311) Homepage

    This.
    Media companies should understand that if a non-paying viewer has a better user experience than a paying viewer, viewers will prefer to not pay.
    This has nothing to do with price, it has to do with the quality of a product.
    To the media companies, a badly encoded movie is a quality problem.
    To a viewer, being forced to watch anything he doesn't want to is a quality problem.

    The "FBI warning" is the worst of all. Consider walking into a clothing store, checkout out a new pair of pants and have the store clerk tell you "I must warn you that you may not create your own pants that look like these pants. That would be criminal. No, you may not wear these pants you paid for until I'm done telling you this and you must read this un-detachable warning label every time you want to wear these pants. To ensure you read it, the label comes with protection that won't let you pull up the zipper for a minute every time you put them on.".

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