Is Blu-ray losing as we jump to downloads?

High-def seekers turning back on discs, says study

Blu ray sales

Blu-ray is losing out as customers jump from DVD players directly to downloads, according to customer reviews website Reevoo's research.

According to Reevoo's data, the expected mass exodus from DVD to Blu-ray following the latter's eventual triumph over rival format HD DVD has not come, even though Blu-ray players have come down in price.

In fact, over the Christmas period, sales of DVD players were ten times that of Blu-ray players.

"We think this could be partly a convenience choice," said Samuel Bostock, Home Entertainment Manager at Reevoo.com.

Chore of eject buton

"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."

According to Nielsen Media Research and Adams Media Research, cited by Reevoo, the sales for the first two years of high definition players (HD DVD and Blu-ray) were 8.3 million, compared to 16.3 million sales in the first two years of DVD's existence.

"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," adds Bostock.

Price shifts

However, it was just a month ago that the Digital Entertainment Group Europe (DEGE) insisted that Blu-ray disc sales had increased five-fold between 2007 and 2008, and one of Reevoos' key reasons given for Blu-ray's troubles - namely higher prices - looks to be changing.

Industry giants Sony, Philips and Panasonic have all signalled their intent to simplify the process of gaining a Blu-ray license by creating a "one-stop shop" for disc licensing.

This would lead to significantly chepaer discs and players, with the current timeline set for summer