Blu-Ray Becomes Less and Less Popular
Once regarded as the savior of the entertainment industry, Blu-Ray is now being pushed out of the market by video-on-demand and downloads. Sony, for example, has officially warned of heavy losses primarily connected with its exit from the PC business. Another reason for the decline is the fact that demand for physical media is contracting faster than the company expected.One of the recent reports showed that revenue from DVD and Blu-ray sales would likely decrease by 38% over the next 4 years. Meanwhile, online movie revenue will grow 260% from $3.5 billion in 2014 to $12.7 billion in 2018.
The researchers believe that people are now used to the instant availability of online media, and the idea of purchasing a physical is weird for people under 25. Finally, it was pointed out that the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video compression standard might finally kill off Blu-Ray, as the former doubles the amount of data available for streaming in HD format. For instance, the standard allows to stream 8K Ultra-High Definition content with resolutions up to 8192x4320.
It should be noted that Blu-Ray never did as well as DVD. The latter dominated the home entertainment world 10 years ago with almost $22 billion in sales representing an overwhelming 96% of home entertainment spendings. Today DVDs still have respectable sales figures, with many people believing that DVD is good enough. In addition, optical media might survive as a way to back-up personal data, as it can prove more reliable than cloud storage.
Blu-Ray was officially introduced 8 years ago, backed by Sony and other tech giants, but the format had a slow take up, and its success was largely determined by its integration with Sony’s PlayStation 3. Back in 2013, around 124 million of Blu-Ray discs were sold in the United States, which is a 4.2% increase over 2012. But even taking this increase in consideration, the reduced pricing for the format negatively influenced the revenue, which only increased 2.6%. As for DVD sales, they have been plummeting for many years now, and dropped 13.6% in 2013.