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Rosy Forecast for 2010

20 Nov, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Could it be? Yes, I believe it is. Ladies and gentlemen, ahem, we have some, uh, good news for a change. It's hard to say that phrase, "good news." But it feels refreshing, uplifting, invigorating, even — as foreign to these ears as it may be.

The good news I am referring to is that Screen Digest, a respected industry analyst that's been tracking home entertainment trends and statistics for years, believes packaged media is in for recovery as early as next year. A surge in Blu-ray Disc sales, brought on by the proliferation of cheap players, will trigger a boom in software sales that will be big enough to more than offset any further declines in DVD sales (for the complete story, click here).

Now, I'm certainly not one to do any premature celebrating, not after the year we've had--a year that is mercifully coming to an end. But I do believe Screen Digest's rosy prediction is a valid one, because there seems to be a perfect storm brewing that just might blow the roof off previous Blu-ray Disc sales projections.

You've got prices for big hit titles falling below the $20 mark at major retailers from Wal-Mart and Best Buy to Amazon.com.

You've got brash new front-and-center Blu-ray Disc displays at Best Buy, Fry's and other big retailers.

You've got HDTVs in more than half of all U.S. households, and the growing realization among consumers that the highest-quality source of true HD entertainment is Blu-ray Disc.

And you've got innovative programs like the Disney-spawned combo pack, which lets consumers buy a Blu-ray Disc, a DVD and a digital copy all in one affordably priced package, and Warner's new trade-in offer, in which consumers can send in their old DVDs and get a new Blu-ray Disc for just $7.95 (plus shipping, which brings the total cost to about $13, still well below the cost of a new Blu-ray Disc movie).

What we need now is an industrywide education campaign that ties everything together. I'm talking ads and commercials with the message: "Go Blu. The best gift for your high-def TV is a high-def disc."

Who's going to take the lead on this one?


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