Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
However, at this moment in "HD disc" lifecycle (both formats combined sales), HD media is producing higher sales than DVD produced at this same phase in it's own life-cycle.
In other words, side-by-side with DVD's growth curve, HD media is actually doing better.
That's a good sign of things to come for the future, given the tremendous sales increases we saw with DVD as time went by (even if HDM never reaches the same sales level, it has a lot further to go).
Although HD media's current growth curve is doing better than DVD's at a similar point in time, I feel there are problems with comparing the two.
For one, when DVD came on the scene, only laserdisc owners had been purchasing movies on disc. Most had tape for their movies. With tape they could record, and many did. Ownership of movies was not as widespread as it is now, so developing a decent sized selection of movies was not a mainstream occurrence as it is now, and transitioning to a read-only format with a different form factor was something that initially was not that appealing to a larger majority of the population. Now, all HD players play our old DVD media, and in many cases, they play it better. I think these factors, along with the PS3 integration of Blu-ray, create a situation where initial adoption should be expected to be faster for HD media. One only has to consider how much larger the home video market is now to see that.
There are other factors that make it seem highly unlikely that HD media will continue to grow at a rapid rate. First, all of those SD DVDs are out there, and they meet the needs of a strong majority of people, so double-dipping to replace SD collections will likely be a fairly rare occurrence. Also, DVD sales plateaued and then began to drop, IMO, because of more competition for our entertainment dollars and because many realized that they weren't getting great value out of movies sitting on their shelves. Once we get past the enthusiast stage, I expect the purchasing of hard copy media to decline in relation to the overall population, whether they are purchasing HD or SD.
And then of course there's the fact that you need an HDTV of a decent size to see the benefits of HD media, and there are all of those computers, car players, and portables that need to access purchased media.
There's more to this than I have mentioned here, but I think it's clear that this is a different time for media, with different habits and many more options. HD media is selling faster than SD DVD, but IMO, the ground was much more fertile for SD DVD to take hold and continue strong growth at the end of the 90s.