There’s been a lot of talk about the slow adoption rate for Blu-ray over the past year or so, and every month there seem to be new study or poll revealing that it’s still not quite ready to go mainstream. A Harris interactive survey released in June indicated that 93% of Americans are not likely to buy a Blu-ray player within the next year despite strong sales of HDTVs. It also found that more Americans currently own an HD-DVD player, than a Blu-ray player! Crazy. Clearly studios are going to have to start pushing a lot harder if they want to convince consumers to get on board with BD.
Perhaps as a response to this, starting next month Paramount will begin making certain high profile films available to own on Blu-ray significantly earlier than on standard DVD. The first movie to follow this new release strategy will be… Dance Flick? The Blu-ray will hit stores on September 8th, while the standard DVD will be out at least 4 to 8 weeks later. (Standard DVD will still be available for rental, however.)
While Dance Flick might not seem like a “must-have” title that would normally move a lot of units, I am guessing that a lot of the people who would buy a Wayans Brothers comedy fall outside of the early adopter/hardcore film geek crowd. But would they really buy a Blu-ray player just so they can own Dance Flick? I don’t know. Either way, I’m sure we can expect more studios to attempt similar schemes to try and force the market toward Blu-ray in the coming months. But with standard DVD sales down 15% from last year, they better hope their tactics don’t force consumers to stop buying altogether.