Originally Posted by Carmissimo
As a result of a growing population, even if the percentage of movie sales that are purchased via optical media declines, that doesn't necessarily translate to a drop in the volume of said media that is sold. If the economies of scale are such that the number of DVDs purchased three or fours years ago allows studios to make money, then why would a similar volume, albeit representing a smaller piece of the overall pie, represent a problem. So to me that implies that optical media isn't going to disappear any time soon. As such, Apple simply can't ignore that.
You are right media consumption is growing. The problem for any one format is that there are many more ways to consume media than there have ever been before.
Business is about growth, business is not about keeping the status quo. If you stagnate in business you will eventually be out of business. That is how the studios are looking at the situation. Optical media sales are stagnant.
Along with that there are many other media distributors that are competing with optical media for consumer attention. They will continue to develop new ways to gain as large an audience as they can.
Its only inevitable that other forms of media distribution will become good enough, cheap enough, and convenient enough to make optical media less desirable to use.
Also, in terms of using optical storage with the capacity of Blu-Ray with a computer system, I see that as something that will be of value. In short, I see the likelihood of Blu-Ray players winding up in more homes than I do SD readers. Right now I'd say that I can't think of a single person I know who doesn't have a DVD player but, as I said, folks who don't have a computer, those I do know.
50GB Blu-ray disc, $12.50 - $.25 per gigabyte
500GB Hard Data Drive, $90 - $.18 per gigabyte
I went to look for current prices of BR discs, they have come down a lot. It used to be as much as $22 for a 50GB BR disc. Price had to come down because they aren't selling well.
The HDD is preferable for many reasons. Ten times more storage, cheaper per GB, faster data rate, rewritable, you can plug a hard drive into any properly formated computer. The far majority of the installed computer base cannot support Blu-ray.
If they'd gotten Blu-ray out back in 2004, it would have been more successful. It would have been riding the success of DVD, it could have been the first solution for wide HD distribution. It would have offered a more affordable storage solution, back then a 500GB Hard Drive cost around $800.
SD is already far more ubiquitous than Blu-ray. The hundreds of millions of people who own point and shoot cameras use SD cards.
People who don't own computers cannot use Blu-ray for data storage either.
I liken the situation re Blu-Ray and competing means of storing data to what happened to radio when television came along. Radio is still with us. Television also didn't bring about the demise of the movie theatre. Yes, it's true, VCRs pretty much wiped out drive-ins but I think assuming no one will be using optical media 10 years from now is a mistake. I'm not saying that's impossible but on the other hand, it's not accurate to claim that all technologies disappear when other options gain traction. Think of it as an expansion of options which is a good thing, I think.
These analogies you make aren't equal they are entirely different situations. Radio, movies, and television all adjusted to give something unique that the other could not offer. People primarily listen to radio in their cars. Movie theaters still work because few people can have a 40-60 foot screen in their house.
Storage media always change. I'm not sure why you expect things to freeze with optical disc.
Reel to reel audio tape, vinyl records, 8 tracks, cassette tape, compact disc, digital file.
35mm film, Ampex Quad video tape, Beta Max, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, digital file
Floppy disc, 3/4" floppy disc, compact disc, DVD, Hard Data Drive, Solid State Drive, Cloud Computing