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.