“We think this could be partly a convenience choice,” said Samuel Bostock, Home Entertainment Manager at Reevoo.com. “The death of the VCR and the cassette saw the end of the chore of rewinding tapes. The convenience of downloads and wider availability of flexible digital content, suggests impatience with the eject button which may be partly why Blu-Ray isn’t capturing the imagination.”
Sony BDP-S350Shoppers quickly discarded VHS in favour of DVD, yet Blu-ray’s growth has been slow in comparison. According to Nielsen Media Research and Adams Media Research, the total high-definition software sales for the first two years were only half of what standard DVD’s sales were for their first two years. There were 16.3 million standard DVDs sold in the first two years (1997-1998) and there have been only 8.3 million high-definition (both Blu-Ray and HD DVD) units sold in their first two years (2006-2007).
In November 2008, Sony announced that worldwide Blu-Ray player sales would fall short of expectations for the year. Sony cited the high price of discs as one factor that had curtailed early adoption of Blu-Ray.
Unlike previous format changes (e.g. audio tape to compact disc, VHS videotape to DVD), there is no immediate indication that production of the standard DVD will gradually wind down. It remains the entrenched dominant format. Some analysts suggest that the biggest obstacle to replacing DVD is its installed base; a large majority of consumers are satisfied with DVDs. The DVD had succeeded because it offered a compelling alternative to VHS.
Samuel Bostock said: “When DVD came in, you could almost see the video shelving shrink before your eyes in Blockbuster and HMV. The same hasn’t happened with Blu-Ray.”