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Blu-ray prices to fall as patent holders simplify licensing

Posted at 27 February 2009 08:22 CEST by AdamT

Blu-ray royalty rates are expected to plunge with the formation of a global independent Blu-ray licensing company by industry heavyweights Sony, Panasonic and Philips.

A new license system will be established by mid-2009 as a "one-stop shop" for device makers, representing the interests of all Blu-ray patent holders. Licensing will be managed by an as yet unnamed new company, headed by Gerald Rosenthal – former head of intellectual property at IBM. Offices will be spread across the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

As a result of the new licensing systems, royalty rates will drop by 40 percent for individual Blu-ray Disc, DVD and CD format licenses.

The fees for the new licenses will be $9.50 for a Blu-ray player and $14 for a Blu-ray recorder. Making Blu-ray Disc will cost 11 cents for read-only, 12 cents for recordable discs and 15 cents for rewritable discs.

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There are 4 comments

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 28 Feb 09 04:38
    Hmmm, that would be nice if we saw a significant drop in BDR's and BDR drives. If they can come down, enough to compete with DVDR's, then a BDR drive might be in my near future. I have been looking forward to something that has more storage, portable, and compact for backing up my music, video, and data.
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 28 Feb 09 19:04
      It would be nice if the media would drop, but looking at the royalty cost compared to the cost of a blank disc I have to wonder if a fee drop from 20 cents to 12 cents per disc really going to impact the end user cost of ~ $15 for a BD-R.
      This is great news for the format in general but really is most beneficial to the mass producers (studios) and hardware manufacturers. A $100 BR player would now have ~ 10% of that cost going to royalties instead of ~ 25%.
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 28 Feb 09 20:12
        It's to entice the manufacturers to gear up production for BR discs and to do it sooner than their good sense tells them to do so. So far, there is little movement in this area as compared to DVD media production in the same time frame. Philips Sony et tal realise that if the discs are to sell, they need to be plentiful and cheap. The best way, is to create a glut and competition between the manufacturers a la the DVD media scene. There is already a massive glut of HD BR movie discs.

        Philips, Sony and the rest, will make even more money by lowering the royalty 4 cents- simply due to the increased sales volume. If they can make the prices drop. The manufacturers are simply just their flunkies. If they do nothing, they risk dissappearing into oblivion with yet another failed format. It's win-win for the patent holders risk-risk for the manufacturers. I hope they hold out for better royalty rate reductions!

        If I were a manufacturer in these times, I would wait another year before investing capital into the BR fiasco, if only to wait out 2009 and see if the world economy improves. In the meantime, I bet that the same BR group will come forward with yet another Royaltty drop to try and speed up their decision. Hell, wait until 3 qtr of 2010 and watch the BR bunch squirm.

        Right now, there are even 200 million BR movies gathering dust on store shelves. That has to be a concern...
        Dr. Who
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 01 Mar 09 17:02
          Prices are falling just fine not for new releases per Tuesday but any others are. you can get BD Titles 11.99 + tax and up right now.

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