Many Blu-ray Player Users Stick With Standard DVD

While Blu-ray Disc players continue to slowly eat into the well-established standard DVD market, and Blu-ray packaged content is rising, many video disc users continue to balk at the noticeably higher price points of Blu-ray over standard DVD titles.

According to the NPD Group, a consultancy, about half of all Blu-ray discs are purchased at more than $20 (and a lot of those are closer to $30). While that price figure is in the same ballpark as newly released standard DVD titles (notably recent theater blockbusters), the vast majority of standard DVDs sell for under $15—and many “on sale” titles go for under $10.

The continuing price differences between both video standards has apparently prompted a lot of Blu-ray player owners to continue purchasing standard DVD titles (since Blu-ray players are backwards-compatible) instead of automatically choosing Blu-ray content, with some exceptions. (“The Dark Knight” apparently was one big exception after it sold an estimated 600,000 copies on its first issue day in December).

And the “early adopter” profile that NPD says is still Blu-ray’s predominant audience is not exactly of mixed gender: A whopping 72 percent are male. (By comparison, standard DVD pretty much maintains a 50-50 gender split.)

But the lopsided gender gap is perhaps explained by Blu-ray’s key demo—the 25-34 age group. That easily fits the profile of typical PlayStation 3 game console enthusiasts. Every PS3 since its inception has included a Blu-ray drive, although no one knows for sure what percentage of PS3 gamers actually goes out and buys Blu-ray movie titles on a regular basis.

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