Are Blu-ray Prices Set to Drop?
Sony, Panasonic and Philips create single licensing firm for Blu-ray technology.
February 26, 2009 by Jason Unger

Three major manufacturers are hoping to boost the growth of Blu-ray and drop prices at the same time.

Sony, Panasonic and Philips will establish a “one-stop-shop license” for Blu-ray products and have invited other manufacturers to join.

“By establishing a new licensing entity that offers a single license for Blu-ray Disc products at attractive rates, I am confident that it will foster the growth of the Blu-ray Disc market and serve the interest of all companies participating in this market, be it as licensee or licensor,” says Gerald Rosenthal, the CEO of the new company.

In a press release, the group says these will be the following fees:

  • New product licenses: $9.50 for player and $14 for recorder
  • Per disc license: $0.11 for read-only, $0.12 for recordable and $0.15 for rewritable
  • Royalty rates are expected to be “at least 40% lower than the current cumulative royalty rates for individual Blu-ray Disc(TM), DVD and CD format licenses.”

The group also plans to tackle unlicensed Blu-ray products.

The Blu-ray Disc(TM) product licensing program aims to create a level playing field in the market for Blu-ray Disc(TM) products by introducing special measures to encourage companies selling Blu-ray Disc(TM) products to comply with their license obligations. The program also includes measures to easily identify unlicensed products in the market and a system to address those who may not have obtained proper licenses for Blu-ray Disc(TM) products.

With lower licensing fees and fewer unlicensed products, the implication is that the savings will be passed along to consumers.

So, what do you think: will this new effort lower Blu-ray prices and spur growth? Let us know in a comment below.

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Will this new effort make Blu-ray prices drop and grow the market?

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