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Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Sony Introduces Blu-ray Club, See Strong Q4 Sales

In an effort to boost the sale

The company announced on Wednesday the launch of the Sony Pictures Blu-ray Club. The new loyalty program rewards consumers for purchasing BD-Live enabled Sony Blu-ray movies. By accumulating points, members become eligible to earn Sony products and prizes and become a part of the greater Sony Rewards program.

To join the free Sony Pictures Blu-ray Club, consumers will create a user profile on BD-Live-accessible via their network-connected Blu-ray player--or via the internet at Club members earn points by registering their Sony Blu-ray High-Def movies when connected to BD-Live. Once the title is registered, the user?s Sony Rewards account balance will be automatically credited. Points and rewards can be managed online at the Sony Rewards website, where members can log in and chart their progress to earning an array of Sony product and prizes.

Members can also use their points to participate in activities and sweepstakes throughout the Sony Rewards program.

"The Sony Pictures Blu-ray Club, made possible by the new interactivity of BD-Live, provides a unique incentive for our consumers who have embraced our Blu-ray high definition movies," said Lexine Wong, Senior Executive Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Record breaking Q4 sales

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) recently reported that sell-in indicators for Blu-ray products are proving more positive than even the most optimistic sales forecasts and market analyst reports.

"We have good reason to predict that this Q4 sales period will see the Blu-ray Disc revolution take hold in US mainstream markets and we will witness strong sales performance in every other geographical region," commented Victor Matsuda, Chairman of the BDA Global Promotions Committee. "It?s all about consumer awareness ? the abundance of choice in players and the awesome line-up of movie titles that Blu-ray offers mainstream home entertainment fans.

The 30 September release of Iron Man is another good example of Blu-ray?s growing impact on movie releases. In the U.S., for the week commencing 29 September, the BD release of Iron Man is the best-selling movie of all packaged media (including DVD) on

Matsuda reports that in North America Blu-ray Disc movie sales are running around four times higher than at the same time last year. On the basis of this, and the sure knowledge of a strong slate of new movie releases from the Hollywood majors this Fall, Victor Matsuda believes that Blu-ray Disc is set to re-write the record books in terms of new format introductions.

"At the IFA exhibition in Berlin last month, renowned media industry analyst Jim Bottoms (from Futuresource Consulting) predicted that in the US, Blu-ray Disc would end 2008 in an unassailable position as the next gen home entertainment packaged media format. Without wishing to appear arrogant, this is the message we need to communicate to consumers worldwide. The future is clear. The future is Blu-ray Disc. And now is the time to buy into the format with its wealth of content, and hardware devices available a wide range of different price points in order to cater for different budgets."

"The availability of affordable players is an important factor and key Blu-ray hardware manufacturers have now aggressively priced entry-level products at strategic price points (<$299) in the U.S. for example, as the format quickly expands to the 'early mass' segment of the consumer market," concluded Matsuda. "I predict an exceptionally busy period for the format thanks to a combination of these price developments in the hardware sector combined with the launch of some very big movie titles."

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