Video Business reports that prices of new releases on Blu-ray disc have dropped 12% since July 2008, to an average of $23.47. Prices of catalog titles have dropped 33%, to an average of $17.23.
David T. Barker, vice-president of e-commerce marketing at DeepDiscount.com, told the publication “Studios are making these moves to drive some additional sales with Blu-ray. I definitely think that cost is still a factor, because getting a dollar from a customer isn’t easy.”
Blu-ray still accounts for only a fraction of overall home video sales. But that fraction is slowly growing.Last week, total Blu-ray sales grossed $13.2 million, which accounted for only 7% of total packaged-media sales revenue. But that number is an improvement of 143% over the same sale period in 2008.
DVD sales hit $154.8 million last week, which was down 6.8% from last year.
I still haven't bought The Dark Knight or Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist on Blu-ray, even though I really want them, because they're always priced around $25-$30 when I see them in the store. That's an impulse-buy killer. I know discs are cheaper online, and that great sales are plentiful. But I tend to be a brick-and-mortar shopper. When I want a Blu-ray, I want it now. But at the right price.
Stores don't do themselves any favors by mispricing their own product, either. I was at the new Best Buy on South Beach last weekend and picked up a few catalog titles I noticed were on sale on BestBuy.com. But the store had them stickered at full retail price and they rang up that way at the cash register. A manager had to come over and scan each title to confirm I wasn't making it up and that the prices really were 40-50% less than marked.
Studios need to cool it with the Blu-ray mark-ups, too. The new Blu-ray of Miramax Films' terrific Adventureland is fantastic, but the MSRP is an absurd $45. That's more than it would have cost on laserdisc. I know no one will actually sell it for that price, but still.