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Saturday, April 26, 2008
Industry Divided Over Blu-ray Disc Pricing

Retailers and studios are confused over how to price Blu-ray titles with reports that consumers are balking at premium prices.

That's according to an article by Video Business.

In most stores, new Blu-ray releases cost from $5-10 more than their standard-def counterparts. For instance, Video Business notes, the Blu-ray edition of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, is $43.95, $14 more than its standard-def two-disc special edition.

Older titles are also priced higher than standard-def versions.

But while industry officials note that consumers are wary of the higher prices, they are reluctant to lower them because of declining profits in the DVD industry as a whole.

?I don?t think studios have found the right price that works best yet on Blu-ray,? Don Rood, director of business development at wholesaler VPD, told Video Business. ?But I don?t think they will until the demand is there for the format. More consumers will need to adopt before studios can see what really is working. We just don?t want to see a race to the bottom.?

Lionsgate is one studio that has lowered the price on some older Blu-ray titles from $29.99 to $19.99, such as Devil?s Rejects, Stir of Echoes, Total Recall and Terminator 2. Some industry officials say that this will spur Blu-ray sales.

?This is a nice entry price, and Lionsgate is more of a catalog-centric label, so this is good stuff,? Newbury buyer Ian Leshin said. ?When consumers see that gap (between Blu-ray and SD prices), they will consider a lot longer how much they need to have the high-def product. It would make me think twice if I can get the other version for a third of the price.?

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