Are Blu Ray Discs Still Popular? Are They Selling?

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Physical media used to be huge back in the day.

We had DVD and Blu-Ray rental stores like Blockbuster Video where most households would go and rent their favorite movies for the weekend and return them a couple of days later.

Long gone are those days as streaming services have become the de facto home entertainment option for the vast majority of the population.

However, with that being said thousands and thousands of new Blu-Ray discs are being produced every year and it is still a billion-dollar industry.

So, is Blu-Ray still popular? Blu Ray is not as popular as it used to be but it still commands a huge share of the physical media market which is a multi-billion dollar industry.

They are a very popular niche product for Home Theater enthusiasts and movie buffs.

They are still sold in large retailers like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Barnes and Noble.

In this blog post, I will explain why Blu-Ray is still somewhat popular but is in decline when it comes to sales.

I will also explain what is going to replace Blu-Ray and why the newest version of Blu-ray, 4k UHD is not selling that well.

Physical media in general still sells but it has been in a steady decline

Physical media sales have been in decline since the rise of streaming services, Blu Ray and DVDs are not really a mass-market item anymore, operating more as a niche product.

However, Blu-Ray discs are still popular with people who enjoy collecting movies as well as people who want the highest quality video and audio format available.

Blu Rays sales are still not as high as DVD which is quite astonishing, DVD sales consistently outpace Blu-Ray even though Blu-Ray is a far superior format, see here.

Blu-Ray isn’t even the preferred physical format for most people so it’s hard to call it popular.

I wrote a separate article explaining why DVD still outsells Blu Ray, it’s quite astonishing that people still buy DVD or Blu Ray.

Physical media sales have been cut in half in just a 5-year period, according to a study by The Motion Picture Association of America.

DVD has lost more than 83% of its business over a 13-year span.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic physical media sales have consistently been losing 19% of their business year over year according to this study.

There is hope within the community that Blu-ray will never truly die and will go the way of vinyl records, which are still somewhat popular despite being outdated in terms of technology.

Some people just like the nostalgia of it and want to listen to music the old-school way.

Do people still buy Blu-ray discs?

Yes, most movies made get released on Blu-ray so obviously there is still a market.

The big-budget Hollywood blockbusters still make 10’s of millions in Blu-ray sales just in the United States within 1 year of being released.

The most popular Blu-Ray release of 2022 was Spiderman No Way Home, with 34 million in domestic sales.

What is replacing Blu-rays?

Nothing seems to be replacing Blu-rays from a physical media perspective although 4k Blu-rays and Steelbooks look to become increasingly more popular with more time.

8K Blu-Ray is extremely unlikely, this is something I covered in a separate article, where I explained why 4k UHD is the last physical format for movies.

Blu-ray is likely to be the last physical format for movies.

In terms of audio and video quality, there are two competitors right now that exceed Blu-ray, Bravia xr core and Kaleidiscape.

Bravia XR is capable of 80 Mbps bitstream and lossless audio quality, meanwhile, Kaleidiscape exceeds Blu-ray in both audio and video quality.

However, you need exceptional internet speeds to display these formats. You do not for Blu-ray. Also Kaleidiscape is a more luxury item.

Are Blu-Ray players in decline?


DVD and Blu-Ray players used to be a staple in the US with over 90% of households owning a player in 2008 according to a study done by statists.

With the rise of streaming, it’s no surprise physical media players have shrunk in market size.

The fact there are almost no video stores also exacerbates this problem, blockbuster video is long gone thus limiting the supply of Blu-ray and DVD in physical locations.

You basically have to buy all your Blu Rays online, other options include buying in person at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Barnes and Noble.

However it’s likely these stores stop carrying Blu-ray within 5-10 years, CD’s had a similar market share as Blu-Ray in the music industry just a couple of years ago and Best Buy stopped selling them soon after.

Are 4K Blu-rays selling well?


4k UHD is the the cream of the crop when it comes to a physical media format, it provides the best image quality with 4k resolution and increased color contrast with HDR (High Dynamic Range).

The format is also typically paired with high-fidelity audio formats such as DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, providing a much more immersive sound experience for the viewer; this is something I explained further in a separate article titled, do all 4k blu rays have better sound quality?

However, the format is very niche and is being outsold by DVD and standard Blu-ray, Currently, 4k UHD barely comprises 10% of the physical media format.

This is largely because it is so expensive to buy the equipment needed to display 4k Blu-ray.

You need a 4k TV, 4k Blu-ray player, and 4k media.

This will cost you over 1,000 dollars, maybe even 2k depending on what TV you buy.

Because of this 4k is unlikely to sell well in the future.

Most people don’t care enough to upgrade either because they are not audiophiles or notice the difference in image quality that home theater enthusiasts do.

I wrote an article explaining more in-depth why 4k Blu-Ray has not taken off and only comprises such a small percentage of the market if you want to check that out.

I’ve said this before but Blu-ray is a niche market, mainstream consumers don’t care to buy it anymore due to streaming.

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