Blu-ray's Blo-tards bite back

Summary:Someone hired the PR/lobbying firm Corporate Advocates to bite back at Storage Bits. Their message: the Harris Poll on Blu-ray was wrong about the number of homes with Blu-ray players.

Someone hired the PR/lobbying firm Corporate Advocates to bite back at Storage Bits. Their message: the Harris Poll on Blu-ray was wrong about the number of homes with Blu-ray players.

A fact, it so happens, I never mentioned. But blow enough Blu-smoke and people will forget what they see with their own eyes?

I don't think so.

Free speech isn't free Good thing our corporate overlords can afford the drivel that CorpAds is shoveling:

. . . the dramatic increase in Blu-ray Disc hardware and software sales clearly indicate that the format has in fact reached critical mass (surpassing even DVD penetration at the same point in DVD's lifespan). . . .

[emphasis mine]

If today's Blu-ray is what "critical mass" looks like, please don't show me failure. That would be too scary.

The CorpAds point is that the Harris Poll numbers don't square with manufacturer numbers. But Storage Bits never mentioned those numbers because they aren't important.

Update: I've published the full text of the CorpAds email so you can read it for yourself. End update.

Update 2: The "evidence" that Blu-ray adoption beats DVD is based on the combined sales of BD players and PS3 consoles. Really, how many people buy PS3's to play BD disks? Even if it is 20% - a high number - that puts Blu-ray well behind DVD. And ignores the fact that follow-ons usually do better: TV over radio; DVD over VHS; Google over Yahoo etc. End update 2.

So what is important? Intentions. Harris asked people what they intended to do - and by a wide margin, people don't much care about Blu-ray: player buying intentions are down; disk buying is lukewarm.

How could that be?

Because you don't need Blu-ray to get high-def content. HD channels on cable; HD downloads from Netflix, Apple and others; and really good upscaling from Oppo Digital are all good substitutes for Blu-ray.

Price is the issue All things being equal, consumers would rather have Blu-ray's slightly better picture. But not if they have to pay a big premium for it.

People will shell out an extra $50 for Blu-ray capability. But Hollywood's money is in the disks.

In the Harris poll, fully 68% of Blu-ray player or PS3 owners disagreed with the statement "I purchase movies on Blu-ray format regardless of price." 68%!!!

These are the folks - like me - who own a Blu-ray player and some disks.

If the early adopters aren't sold why will John Q. Public jump on this? He won't. Like me he'll get a few BD disks, think they look nice, and then go back to DVDs.

The Storage Bits take Most new media fail. Historically, less than ¼ of new media achieve broad acceptance.

Blu-ray can still succeed with consumers, but vendors need to reduce prices. Of course, then Blu-ray may not be an economic success for vendors.

Oh well. Welcome to the free market. Say hi to your friends on Wall Street.

Update 3: I want to see Blu-ray succeed, mostly because I want to see a convenient 50 GB removable disk succeed. I'm not anti-Blu-ray, I'm anti-dumb. End update 3.

Comments welcome, of course. For historical perspective on new media, the curious might enjoy my wonkish review of an MIT Press book New Media, 1740-1915.

Topics: Storage


Robin Harris is Chief Analyst at TechnoQWAN LLC, a storage research and consulting firm he founded in 2005. Based in Sedona, Arizona, TechnoQWAN focuses on emerging technologies, products, companies and markets. Robin has over 35 years experience in the IT industry and earned degrees from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton... Full Bio

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