Long Live Disc
By Martin Porter
I confess.Â I haven’t been thinking a lot about discs lately.Â I’m been obsessed with Boardwalk Empire (HBO Go), and working my way through massive TV epics like the Breaking Bad (iTunes), MadMen (Netflix).Â The Freaks and Geeks box set that I was just given as a gift is sitting there on top of my TV set begging to be played., and I will get around to watching the series once my life gets a whole lot less mobile.
Yes, there is still room in my media life for discs.Â And based on the latest numbers I’m not alone.Â Just as a healthy reminder –worldwide replicationÂ (every variety) is still nearly 17 billion discs (thank you Alison from Futuresource).Â And this is an industry that is never going to face any serious capital overhauls and that can rest assured that they won’t have to be dealing with another format war (remember how risky those were?) anytime soon.
I’m long past grandstanding that discs remain our industry’s money engineâ€¦and with a little love, care, creativity — and attention — we can keep them around for quite some time.Â Maybe we’re personally all so mobile and digital that we’re forgetting that most of our clients aren’t.Â And we may not even have fully exhausting explaining to the consumer the unique attributes of the giftable, collectible, universal and superior BD.
Which is why a recent, totally unrelated editorial entitled “Long Live Paper” on the Op Ed page of the New York TimesÂ caught my eye.Â Following an announcement by the U.S. Education Secretary Anne Duncan that “textbooks should be obsolete,” the author retorted: “While e-readers and multimedia may seem appealing, the idea of replacing an effective learning platform with a widely hyped but still unproven one is extremely dangerous.” Nobody has even studied whether or not students learn as well from a digital textbook as they do with the physical alternative.
Could our industry say the same thing about disc?Â Sure digital is the growth market but while we’re figuring out how to make money from digital let’s focus some more attention as an industry on what’s paying the bills and serving a proven, devoted market that will be standingÂ for years to come.Â Plus: with UV marketed as a BD feature/benefit — we’ve given the consumer the best of both worlds (which is a hat trick the textbook business can’t provide).Â And then there’s 4k around the corner, which could also give us all a nice, little bump.Â Has our industry even measured the “enjoyment quotient” of consumers watching a digital download versus their own packaged BD?
Read the article.Â It’s a reminder that we’re not alone, juggling the business dilemma of staying true to our current market while embracing and developing what’s next.