Sony Unveils Blu-ray Pricing, Format Bundling

Sony Pictures announced pricing for its Blu-ray movie titles today, becoming the first major studio to do so. In addition, it announced plans to bundle multiple formats in a low-cost package, beginning with DVD/UMD bundles next month.

Catalog Blu-ray titles will wholesale at $17.95, which is roughly the same price that DVDs debuted at in 1997. New releases will wholesale for $23.45, a 15 to 20 percent premium over new release DVD titles. This is done to accommodate sell-through and rental markets, according to Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The discs should start appearing on store shelves in early summer.

Sony Pictures also announced a plan to bundle movies in different formats at a lower price point. Starting March 28th, it will release DVD/UMD (PSP disc) combo packages of six titles including "The Grudge" and "Resident Evil." Second wave titles, coming April 25th, include "Snatch" and "Ghostbusters," with a third set due in May. Combos will be priced at $28.95, which is considerably lower than the retail price for each format purchased individually.

The combo packages are a taste of what consumers can expect in the future, when combinations of Blu-ray, standard DVD, and UMD packages could hit store shelves and consumers migrate to the new format.

News source: Reuters

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