University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Product Launch in a Declining Environment: The Blu-ray Disc – Opportunities and Struggle

Oestreicher, Klaus and Walton, Nigel (2010) Product Launch in a Declining Environment: The Blu-ray Disc – Opportunities and Struggle. In: Seventeenth Annual South Dakota International Business Conference in Rapid City, 30 September - 03 October 2010, Northern States University, South Dakota.

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Increasingly ICT-based virtual products are challenging physical products and markets. Obsolescence has become a real effect for an augmented number of established industries due to the facilitation of access, consumption, and permanent, immediate availability, which dematerialised products provide. Once again, Schumpeter’s Wind of Creative Destruction intensifies organisations’ permanent struggle for survival (1950). This paper presents long-term research in the optical disc industry, which has presented the optical disc format of Blu-ray as its latest innovation. It is an example of how an established industry launches a new product for finding new opportunities, but fights desperately against market resistance. The degree of innovation, the Blu-ray represents, may not be sufficient in the overarching battle of the physical place versus the virtual space (Kotler et al. 2002, Lam. 2004, Lamont et al. 1993, Scardigli et al. 1988).

As the US market research institute In-Stat highlights, the optical disc market has declined for the 10th year in sequence (Kaufhold. 2010, IFPI. 2010). Sufficient evidence is available that the replication industry of optical discs may be confronted with an endgame scenario. The market climate may already be too hostile to support this industry’s desire for a renewal of consumers’ acceptance of the physical product, here the Blu-ray disc, and to create new market opportunities in the struggle against the industry’s potential obsolescence (Harrigan et al. 1983).

Despite strong efforts of promotion and powerful market approaches, the Blu-ray disc could not find inroads to markets yet making this format sustainably successful. Evidence is that after a short period of time, Blu-ray discs’ available manufacturing capacities outperform consumers’ demand by >30%, consumer and replication prices fall sharply and many of the Home Entertainment’s content providers have little or no use for this format being a commodity and based on mass production (dvd-intelligence. 2010a, Kaufhold. 2010, Killer-Korff. 2010).

Therefore, as research among the replication industry indicates, it presently seems more as though the Blu-ray format may not fulfil this industry’s needs and, with reference to Abernathy et al.’s research, may not lead to the renewal of industrial dynamics in a declining marketplace (1983, 1984). Further explanation for reasons can be found in the theories of innovation based on Utterback’s, Christensen’s and Christensen et al.’s studies of disruptive and discontinuous innovation (1996, 2003, 2003, 2004).

Following the paper presented at the Sixteenth Annual South Dakota International Business Conference, this paper presents research about the Blu-ray format’s market problems. The introduction of the Transilience Organisation Innovation Map provided a conceptual approach for the initial explanation of the underlying reasons (Oestreicher. 2009). Research among European replication firms since concludes for Blu-ray that innovation in technology alone is not sufficient, when innovation’s second stream of market linkages is involved (Abernathy et al. 1983, 1984). The paper presents explanations, why the Blu-ray disc may not be sufficiently strong to support the replication industry in overcoming the odds impacting their strategic opportunities in a declining and eventually disruptive environment (Lamont et al. 1993, Yoo. 1992).

The research methods applied are grounded theory and case study (Goulding. 2002, Charmaz. 2009, Eisenhardt. 1989, Davies. 2006).

The overall intention of this long-term research is to contribute to a theory, which may also be relevant for other industries, like the publishing industry, whose struggle against dematerialisation of content is presently starting (Picard. 2003).

Key Words: Radical vs. marginal innovation, Ideal Final Result, endgame strategies, theories of innovation, Blu-ray

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Radical vs. marginal innovation, Ideal Final Result, endgame strategies, theories of innovation, Blu-ray
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
Depositing User: Klaus Oestreicher
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2010 11:14
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 09:24

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