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Futuresource: Blu-ray Prices Dropping in U.K.

24 Aug, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Retail prices for new release Blu-ray Discs in the United Kingdom have dropped 40% in the past six months, according to research firm Futuresource Consulting. Prices for catalog titles also are heading south in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Pricing is becoming an increasing area of focus for Blu-ray,” said Alison Casey, head of global content for Futuresource. “Although a number of new BD releases are beginning to achieve healthy sales volumes, catalog titles continue to disappoint. The retail price of Blu-ray titles, particularly when compared to DVD, is a key factor in holding back sales.”

Looking at average retail pricing from online retailers, the asking price for a new-release Blu-ray in the United Kingdom dropped from £27.29 ($44.79) in February to £16.74 ($27.51) in August. Average catalog title pricing dropped a modest 15% during the same span.

“Research shows that Blu-ray player owners are making a value judgment call when deciding whether or not to pay the Blu-ray premium; often continuing to buy some titles in standard definition,” Casey added.

Futuresource announced it has launched a weekly retail pricing tracking service for both DVD and Blu-ray, covering 40 online retailers. While currently only available in the United Kingdom, the firm aims to expand the service to other markets, offering data within 48 hours of street date for new releases.

“We launched the service on Blu-ray first in response to overwhelming client demands for comprehensive and robust weekly price comparisons,” Casey said. “With so much pressure on the industry to establish Blu-ray in Europe and at the same time maximize revenue opportunities, it is clear that success depends on how quickly people react to changes in competitive pricing.”

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