Blu-ray Strategist Reveals 'Cause of Victory'

Following Toshiba's withdrawal from its HD DVD business, Blu-ray Disc (BD) has virtually become the standard next-generation DVD format. Will Blu-ray really grow to a huge business that replaces DVD in and after 2008? Nikkei Electronics interviewed Masayuki Kozuka, general manager in charge of storage device strategy, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, who can be described as a key person behind the Blu-ray's diffusion strategy.

Key points from the interview:

• What sealed Toshiba's fate was its "US$99" pricing on Black Friday. Kozuka-san believes Chinese manufacturers' entry to the US market was HD DVD's last hope. Given the $99 market price, however, it became impossible for any other (i.e., Chinese) manufacturer but Toshiba to enter the market.

• Now that the hi-def format war is over, US movie studios intend to boost their Blu-ray business to US$1 billion in 2008 and seriously promote the shift from DVD to Blu-ray.

• Internet distribution is part of the video-on-demand business segment for movie companies and has a lower priority in terms of service schedules and customer tiers. Matsushita's "associates in the home video business" (i.e., movie studios) don't see any reality in the business of "downloading an entire movie" for the next seven or eight years.

Notes: The interview is published in English.

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JoelR4191d ago

Finally - the media actually interviews the right guys - Matsushita Electric Industrial Company rather then Sony.

tk4191d ago

Not ready for the next 7 to 8 years...

So... get ready for the FUD meisters to try and spin the DLC ready yesterday to downplay the HD-DVD loss - or the ever popular compression techniques will cram all into DVD....

ktchong4191d ago

Whether digital download will become a reality in the near future comes down to how much Hollywood supports it. If Hollywood studios think of digital download in the same category as video-on-demand, which really gets low-priority treatment and schedule, then digital download will not happen anytime soon.

Hollywood decided that HD DVD should die, and Hollywood will decide when digital download will be accepted. Because Hollywood owns the content. If Hollywood puts the content on digital download later than all other channels, then they have already decided they're not too interested in promoting digital downloads for financial reasons.

Let's face it: digital download is a threat to their other more important revenue streams (or "windows", as they call it. US theatrical run is the "first window", foreign run is the "second windows", DVD and rental are the "second window", cable is the "third windows", so on and so forth. Hollywood has about seven or eight windows, and digital download is pretty low on the list of windows.)