"Old School" Videophilia Takes Another Hit: Samsung Exits 4K Player Market
(February 19, 2019) With hardcore videophiles and disc collectors still mourning the loss of OPPO’s 4K presence, Samsung has decided to pour a little salt in the wound. As recently reported by Forbes’ John Archer, the company has decided not to make any new 4K Blu-ray player models. That means Samsung’s UBD-M9500 – first released in 2017 – will likely be the last 4K BD player the company ever releases.
While it’s true that Samsung didn’t arrive at CES 2019 with 4K Blu-ray players in tow, Archer says his Samsung contacts had privately relayed plans for a 2019 release of a high-end disc machine. Information, he claims, that didn’t jibe with dealer rumors being spread late last year.
So, what does this mean?
First off, it’s rather obvious that the 4K Blu-ray market isn’t healthy. In fact, it’s in a total disease-infested distressed state. According to Nielsen’s Q2 2018 “Total Audience Report,” the average US adult spends roughly 10 hours and 24 minutes per day interacting with audio and visual media (including gaming consoles, radio, live TV, etc.). Of that time, the average adult sources content from a DVD or Blu-ray device for a mere five minutes. Let’s repeat that: the average adult sources content from a DVD or Blu-ray device for an average of five minutes per day. That’s an insanely small sliver of time and it pales in comparison to averaged daily stats for media consumption from live TV (3 hr 49 min) and app/web based content on a smartphone (2 hr 19 min).
As grimly stated by Nielsen: “Some devices, such as DVD/Blu-ray players, are in the declining phase of their product life cycle as streaming devices gain prominence. As a result, DVD/Blu-ray player penetration dropped to 66% in June 2018 from 72% one year prior, while internet connected devices increased from 34% to 38% and enabled smart TV penetration grew from 31% to 40%.”
Secondarily, consider the fact that Samsung has been a major backer of the 4K Blu-ray market. After all, it was the first company to officially release a 4K capable Blu-ray player. And while it’s recent decision to distance itself from the format could be a sign that consumers simply favored gear from other brands, it’s hard not to take note of its abrupt shift in product strategy.
Of course, all is not lost. Both Sony and Panasonic are still active in an exceedingly niche 4K Blu-ray player market. But for how much longer? The numbers… the figures… the expert analyses… all point in the wrong direction for fans of the silver disc. As an enthusiast that desperately wants discs to survive (let’s be honest: they remain the only affordable option for access to the best quality movie experience), Samsung’s decision is a total gut punch. A real tough one to take.
- Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior AdminStaff MemberThread Starter
- Jan 20, 2017
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