In 2009, Blu-ray title prices have declined rapidly and the pricing gap is narrowing, according to Futuresource Consulting?s price tracking service. The service shows that in February the average Blu-ray price for new release movies in the UK was £27.29. By the beginning of August this had dropped to £16.74 ? a decline of 40%.
Catalogue pricing has also fallen, but not by such a significant amount. From an average price of £16.87 in February, this dropped to £14.25 in August; representing a decline of 15%. When looking at the average catalogue price across the three largest etailers, (Amazon, Play and HMV), the price drop is far more significant, with the average catalogue price hitting £11.22.
Back in Q4 2008, both in the USA and the UK the premium for purchasing a new release title on Blu-ray compared to DVD was between 30% and 80%. However, for catalogue BD titles this premium was considerably higher, and in some instances was as much as 300%. Although it has never been disputed that consumers will pay more for Blu-ray, the premium in the market in 2008 was clearly not sustainable.
"Pricing is becoming an increasing area of focus for Blu-ray," says Alison Casey, Head of Global Content at Futuresource Consulting. "Although a number of new BD releases are beginning to achieve healthy sales volumes, catalogue titles continue to disappoint. The retail price of Blu-ray titles, particularly when compared to DVD, is a key factor in holding back sales. Research shows that Blu-ray player owners are making a value judgement call when deciding whether or not to pay the Blu-ray premium; often continuing to buy some titles in standard definition."
To help companies develop more robust pricing strategies for both DVD and Blu-ray, Futuresource has launched a weekly retail price tracking service. The service captures retail prices across all DVD and Blu-ray titles from 40 online retailers. The service is currently available in the UK but Futuresource is in the process of rolling it out to other international territories.
For additional information, visit http://www.futuresource-consulting.com