Sunday, November 23, 2008

DVD sales soften

Per the NYT, it looks like maybe the Blu-ray isn't going to save Hollywood after all. Note that the story here isn't that BR sales are so small -- it's still too early to tell on that score -- but that DVD sales have started to plateau. This is only natural, as people have probably reached the saturation point on their DVD libraries. (I know I've got most of the movies that I want.)

I've been saying for some time that I thought hi-def video was going to go a lot worse than Sony and other companies wanted, for the simple reason that it's hard to convince someone that they need HD when DVD is plenty good enough for most people.

Consider that there hasn't really been a successful digital-to-digital media transition orchestrated by Big Content. Analog-to-digital, sure. But the transition from CDs to MP3s was driven by consumers in spite of Big Content, which practically left fingernail marks in the floor.

Anybody want to bet that the movie companies are any smarter than the music companies? Before you answer, remember that in many cases they're the same god damn company.

I wrote this more than two years ago:
Consumers have adopted MP3s, and this is crucial, even though MP3s are lower-fidelity. This is the same reason TV piracy isn't going to go away - people will download episodes (whole seasons, even) of TV, even though the fidelity is crap sometimes, because it's easier and more convenient.
I've seen nothing that makes me change my mind. Piracy of TV and movies is going to keep going, and people will buy $1000-screens and then pipe the video equivalent of a dog's breakfast on it. Why? Because we can, that's why.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Some people will pipe crap but there are other people that have the bandwidth and patience to download 720p television shows and movies to enjoy their tv's hidef nature.

Some people complain about a lack of content but I have access to no less than 4 hd sources: free to air HDTV, Xbox 360, HD-DVD (dead format but still some good movies on it for cheap), my PC (streaming HD television and movies) and maybe in the future a PS3.

I don't think I'm alone either.