Is physical media (DVD / Blue Ray) worth saving?

If the “powers-that-be” in the entertainment industry were to ask me (which, by the way, they have not), I would tell them they’ve completely missed the boat on the DVD -> Blue Ray thing.

Had they been smart, and not closed minded, paranoid, and self-destructively greedy, they would have already realized that for physical media to have any chance whatsoever in the mass market, moving forward, the price needs to be considerably under that which they are currently charging for DVDs. Unfortunately, they chose to make Blue Ray content a premium. Mind you, I am not surprised by this un-enlightened approach, but I hope, once and for all, someone in a position of power comes to realize that physical media’s only chance to remain relevant for a even a few more years is to “carpet bomb” the mainstream market with easily accessible, in-demand, content. (Notice I did not say “on-demand.”)

If I were any/all of the major distributors, I would make the following offer to all consumers…

Sign-up on our special website, catalog your current DVD collection, send us all your “old, 20th century technology, low-quality” disks and we will send you brand spanking new Blue Ray disks (packed with all sorts of extra resolution). And, as a special offer, if you register and return more than 20 DVDs, we will give you a Blue Ray player!

Next, I’d let the “Send us your tired and poor DVD” program run for about 6-9 months, then I’d announce that all new Blue Ray discs will be $14.99 or less moving forward.

Finally, sometime around 2015, when it becomes perfectly clear (like it has not already) that “on-demand” 1080P content is what everyone really wants, I’d abandon the consumer market with physical media (DVD and Blue Ray) and focus all my “physical media attention” on the super-premium consumer. I’d make special Blue Ray only editions of classic content and selected new releases, presented in gorgeous packaging with special audio/video tracks, etc., and I’d charge $100+ for these and limit their release. Even better, I’d make them only available to “registered collectors” (anyone can register) and would figure out a way to customize the presentation (package and disk) for each “registered collector.”

For digital content on physical media to remain relevant it needs to be entirely re-targeted. If you are someone that depends on DVD and/or Blue Ray sales for your living you are pretty much at the “end of the proverbial plank.” If you don’t make some changes, and make them now, both you and your livelihood are destined to go the way of VHS.

One thought on “Is physical media (DVD / Blue Ray) worth saving?

  1. At was predicted in the mid-90s, you can place movies and music on a chip the size of your fingernail. I have an 8 gig chip in my Blackberry, which is large enough to hold 4 HD movies as AVI files, which have comparable picture and sound quality to that of a standard HD video, not as good as blue ray, yet.

    I haven’t used DVDs for anything but backing up files for the last 5 years. The fact is, laser discs and the mechanisms that read them are far too fragile and cumbersome in this new century. They simply take up too much space and consume too many resources.

    Solid-state drive is where it’s at, and the only reason it hasn’t taken over the market already is because of cost, and those barriers are about to fall in short order. You can already get an eight gig UDMA CF card from Lexar & SanDisk for $40 after rebate. And I consider those SSD formats to be far superior, far faster and far more reliable than anything else around at the moment. Hoodman claims a zero failure rate for their SSD CF cards, but they’ve only been around a few years.

    Very shortly the mechanical hard drive is going to die an ugly death as well, already there are laptops on the consumer market with 500 gig solid-state drives, and by next year I’m sure they’ll be 1 TB drives in the latest units. Why should anyone continue to pay for redundant raid 1 raid 2 raid 4 etc. hard drive units to prevent data loss and which always fail within 5 to 10 and have to be replaced, when you’ll be able to buy a solid-state drive that will last a minimum of 10 to 20 years and won’t fail, or at least won’t have a failure that requires anything more than running standard software on another drive to recover the data in perfect condition.

    With new compression techniques for data and ultrafast SSD drives, within 20 years I’d say you should be able to buy a hard drive that will fit on a key chain, is virtually indestructible, and holds 1000 TB of information, and doubtless people will be complaining that they’re too small to encompass the entirety of their lives. 🙂 Nevertheless the problem of information storage is going to become a thing of the past, and the only place you’ll see laser discs is in museums or your grandparents old relic boxes. Tell us again grandpa about when you were a kid and you could only get one movie on something the size of a DVD, whose equivalent now holds 10,000 movies.

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