Blu-Ray from Sony and the diffusion of a technology
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Since the end of the war that took place between Sony and Toshiba to set the new standard HD video disc capacity, the Sony Blu-ray Disc is struggling to distribute massively to replace the DVD. In this struggle to establish itself as the new standard, the two consortia have chosen radically different strategies. Blu-ray, backed by Sony, Apple, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips and Samsung, had chosen to provide a high quality product with a maximum storage capacity at the expense of the price of drives and discs.
In contrast, the HD DVD format championed by Toshiba, Microsoft and Intel, applied a strategy of aggressive pricing on the drives and discs. Despite this skimming pricing strategy, choosing to open the Sony technology to all its partners have boosted the number of Blu-ray available on the market, bringing in Blu-ray disc a significant advance in terms of basic installation.
On the other hand, the standards battle also took place in the field of content, with a race as to who has the most exclusive studios. Indeed, complementary goods that are the movies available in each format, and therefore the number of studios have chosen one or the other formats, and helped tip the balance in favor of Blu-ray disc.
Since the demise of HD DVD, Blu-ray sales struggled to take off as compared to the DVD, which, at the time, had experienced a meteoric rise. Blu-ray is at a pivotal time in its diffusion process called the "chasm". It will have to convince the population about its easy to use and the real advantages. We will therefore highlight the new issues of dissemination of this format since its establishment as a standard HD video disc in early 2008.
The aim will be to understand why, although the Blu-ray has prevailed as standard, its dissemination, especially in Europe, is still marginal compared to the one experienced by DVD. Thus, we try to answer the question: What are the factors that hinder the adoption of Blu-ray?
According to the theories of innovation, an innovation is diffused in society through a process that affects different classes of consumers, most enthusiastic to the most reluctant to technology. EM Rogers has modeled this process through a diffusion curve (or bell curve) with the involvement of different consumer profiles corresponding to different phases of the adoption process.
The adoption of a standard technology for high-definition video discs is a key point in this process and opens the possibility to initiate a new phase for the mass market. On the other hand, several factors influence the adoption and diffusion of innovation and can explain the situation of Blu-ray.
These factors may be of two different types: endogenous factors to innovation (which result from the inherent characteristics of technology), and exogenous factors to innovation (which result from the environment in which technology is introduced).
Tags: Blu-ray from Sony, diffusion of technology, HD formats