Many people have foreshadowed the downfall of the physical media discs. But they just may have to hold off on those predictions; at least for a little while. And the reason for this just may have to do with the main cause of its “so-called” demise; streaming online content. According to a new report by NPD Group, sales of Blu-ray DVD Players are still rising. The NPD Group says there was a nine percent increase in the number of household using a Blu-ray Disc Player in the first quarter of this year. And that 15 percent of U.S consumers admitted to using a Blu-ray DVD Player in the last 6 months prior to March, 2011.
There are many reasons for the increases in sales. The fact that manufacturers are always adding new features to players while still dropping prices is a big factor. And consumers are seeing the value of movie combos packs of DVDs, Blu-rays and Digital copies. Also, consumers are finally realizing the superior quality of blu-rays. Before many were content with the quality of DVDs, saying it was good enough. But as TV technology gets better, consumers know if they want to get the most value out of their HDTV, the only way is with a Blu-ray Player. But the main reason could lie in the fact that 50 percent of consumers intending on purchasing a player in the near future, will do so because they want access to subscription video downloading services such as Netflix.
Of course, Blu-ray players are not the only way consumers can access Netflix and other streaming services. Blu-ray faces competition from Apple TV, Roku, Boxee Box and other devices. So why would consumers choose a Blu-ray Player? Mainly because consumers like getting more value for their money. For the same price as the online streaming boxes, you can get a Blu-ray Player that has all the same online streaming.
Adding online streaming services to players seemed like a no-brainer. Blu-ray manufacturers understood the appeal of online streaming media services. While the movies and TV shows from online streaming can not match the video and audio quality of Blu-rays. Consumers like the convenience factor and a seemly unlimited supply of content that comes with online streaming. Instead of fighting this new trend, they quickly began to equip their players with tons of online streaming apps. And it soon became apparent that Blu-ray Players were just as much about online streaming as they were about playing physical discs.
However, while the popularity of digital media is growing, blu-ray consumers seem to be deciding to purchase more discs for their players as well. NPD states in their report that Blu-ray sales are making up the loss of DVD customers. While sales of physical media discs are declining, the decline is being slowed down due to Blu-ray sales. Which keep increasing every year. So services like Netflix are actually helping sell more blu-ray players as well as more blu-ray discs.