Samsung has today reinforced the notion that Blu-ray players are a loss leader, rather than a viable product offering, by launching a promotion to give the struggling media device away with purchases of LCDs and plasmas.
In a promotion running until Christmas Eve, customers who purchase a Samsung series 5, 6 or 7 plasma, or a series 6, 7, 8 or 9 LCD, will receive the BD-P1500 Blu-ray player, which is RRP $499. This may prove a boon for retailers, who will be looking to maintain panel sales up to Christmas now that the Olympics rush is a distant memory.In the lead up to these Olympics, Sony experienced great success with its Bravia/PS3 campaign, which saw the company flood the market with 35,000 free game consoles. It wasnâ€™t so much the game console they were giving away, but the Blu-ray technology. The conclusion drawn from these campaigns is that neither Sony nor Samsung consider the Blu-ray player, as a standalone product, to be a financially viable offering.
Later at Uchi, Sony communications manager Paul Colley spoke of how Sony was looking to invigorate the slow take up of Blu-ray by introducing low price Blu-ray players, backed by a television marketing campaign. This campaign isnâ€™t about making money selling the players, but by selling the discs that include the content.
A new release Blu-ray disc retails for around $50, almost twice that of a DVD. Sonyâ€™s film production and distribution arms have been the most proactive in releasing movies on Blu-ray, and its overall investment in the technology â€“ an investment that largely contributed to the winning of the format war â€“ needs to be recouped.
What makes this move from Samsung so interesting, however, is that its ability to recoup losses in the future is not as clear cut as Sonyâ€™s. This promotion is sure to sell a lot of Samsung panels, and thatâ€™s good news for the supplier and the retailer, it could well lead to Sony selling a lot more movies on Blu-ray.
By Patrick Avenell (current.com.au)