Blu-ray disc awareness on rise: survey

Thu Apr 3, 2008 6:38am EDT
 
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By Thomas K. Arnold

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A majority of U.S. households now know what a Blu-ray Disc is, while the number of households with a high-definition disc player has crossed the 10 million threshold, a new study shows.

The study, from media research firm Interpret, finds that 60% of U.S. consumers are aware of Blu-ray Disc, "up from zero two years ago, when the format was still in the talking stages," said Jason Kramer, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm's chief strategy officer.

Making that number even more significant is that the survey of consumers age 18-54 was conducted in mid-January, after Warner Home Video threw its support exclusively behind Blu-ray but before Toshiba officially ended the format war by abandoning its rival HD DVD product.

Since then, the studios and consumer electronics manufacturers supporting Blu-ray Disc have been ratcheting up their own promotional efforts and encouraging retailers to devote more floor and shelf space to the next-generation format.

Among men 18-34, the critical "early adopter" demographic, Blu-ray awareness is at 76%, the Interpret study found.

Still, Kramer said, Blu-ray supporters "still have a lot to do. The format war is over, and they've taken Blu-ray from zero to majority awareness, but it doesn't get easier from here, unfortunately."

Kramer sees the biggest impediment to Blu-ray's mass market success the fact that it requires not just a new player but also a new television. There are now 44.4 million HDTV households in the U.S., Interpret research shows, or 39% of the 113.9 million TV households. That's a significantly smaller pool than the one DVD faced when it was launched 11 years ago.

"It's an intermediate step DVD didn't have," Kramer said. "But it's also a huge opportunity for studios to work with consumer electronics companies to get consumers to both at the same time."   Continued...

 
<p>A shopper walks past a Blu-ray Disc logo at an electronic shop in Tokyo February 18, 2008. A majority of U.S. households now know what a Blu-ray Disc is, while the number of households with a high-definition disc player has crossed the 10 million threshold, a new study shows. REUTERS/Issei Kato</p>