As hordes of shoppers hit stores and the web today, retailers and Hollywood studios hope they pick up a Blu-ray player and a few discs along with their doorbuster specials. The three-year-old high-definition format is not taking off as quickly as its backers would like, and massive discounts are being promoted on Blu-ray hardware and discs to induce more customers to take the Blu plunge.
Mammoth retailers Walmart and Amazon, among others, are offering cut-rate prices on many popular titles and players. The discounts are much more substantial than those offered on the DVD format at a similar point in its lifespan. Several players are being advertised at under $100, and many titles can be had for less than $10.
It’s not just the retailers taking a margin hit on the steeply discounted Blu-ray products. The studios are also absorbing much of the cost through subsidies to retailers, investments which they hope will get people away from Redbox, etc. and back into purchasing titles.
According to Richard Doherty, a consumer electronics analyst:
“The studios still make money on a $3.99 DVD sale. . . Not as much as they used to, but certainly more than they do at a Redbox kiosk.”
Doherty noted that there is a lot at stake here, and “studios and their retail partners need for people to adopt the newer Blu-ray format and start building disc libraries again instead of renting movies for a dollar at Redbox.”
One potential issue with the Blu-ray Black Friday sales is that consumers may come to expect high-definition films to remain at these prices, an unsavory prospect for studios and retailers. Says Doherty:
“Consumers expecting $7.99 Blu-ray titles over the long term is not part of any business model we’ve been privy to,”
Will the ability to pick up Gladiator in high-definition for ten bucks get you to purchase a Blu-ray player, Insiders? Are studios and retailers shooting themselves in the foot by cutting prices so drastically this quickly? Give us your thoughts in the comments.
[via The Wrap]