Dr. Evil had it right. One billion dollars is a lot of money. Apparently, it's also the lucky number that Hollywood execs are looking for to call Blu-ray a success. They believe they'll hit that number, and are aiming for $2.5 billion at the end of 2009. Optimistic, or naive?
In a report from Home Media magazine, seven studios attending the Home Entertainment Summit all declared that Blu-ray success is coming sooner rather than later.
The studios home entertainment presidents represented most of the big players: Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner.
Here's what some of them had to say.
“It shows consumers are
really embracing the format,” Lionsgate president Steve Beeks said of the
7% to 10% market share that Blu-ray’s been taking away from DVD every week.
“The transition to Blu-ray
will be much quicker than DVD because people are already familiar with digital,”
said Mike Dunn, president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
I think he's being a bit optimistic here. Many folks think DVD is good enough. It's hard to compare Blu-ray adoption to DVD's overtaking of VHS, because the difference between VHS and DVD was huge and obvious to even a casual observer.
“Upconverters, we think,
are a huge problem,” said Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video, adding
he expects significant price drops in standalone Blu-ray players in 2009.
“Those houses [that buy one] are out of the market for several years.”
But there’s a silver lining among all those DVD homes, Bishop noted.
“Every consumer will be in the marketplace at some point to replace their
DVD player,” he said, referring to a reason why lower-priced Blu-ray players
BD Live is also hoped to fuel the growth, creating something new with each viewing. “Three years from now, when they put in Men in Black,
it’ll be a different experience than what they have today. We’ve never had
that direct connection, that direct dialogue, with the consumer,” Sony’s
All the studio heads agree that adding value to Blu-ray and also looking at other media options, such as downloading, needs to be considered for future growth.
I don't know about you, but if my product made me one billion dollars, I would be quite happy. —Leslie Shapiro
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