UMD Movies Going to Die?

After disappointing sales, movie studios are cutting back on releasing their films on Sony’s proprietary UMD format. Sales of UMD movies were strong when the PSP first came out but the initial novelty wore off and people stopped purchasing them. Retailers such as Wal-Mart are even thinking about dumping the category all together. Currently, Paramount and Image Entertainment have both backed out of the UMD business while several other studios are cutting back on UMD movies releases. The problem: no ones watching movies on their PSPs according to the president of one of the six major movie studios. A more accurate answer would probably be that no one is watching UMD movies on their PSP.

Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, was a big believer in PSP as a movie-watching platform. He still is, even though he concedes retail shelf space for UMD movies is on a sharp decline and his own studio is being “more selective” in choosing movies for UMD release.

Feingold believes the PSP’s biggest drawback as a movie-watching device was the inability to connect the gadget to TV sets for big-screen viewing, “which would have made it more compelling,” as well as the inclusion of memory stick capability.

“I think a lot of people are ripping content and sticking it onto the device rather than purchasing,” he said.

I think that’s exactly right, the UMD format can’t be played on anything besides the PSP so people are simply buying the DVD and ripping it onto their MemorySticks. That way they can watch it on their TVs and PSPs. However, Sony Execs are beginning to discuss with Hollywood studios about making the PSP able to connect TVs. Will this save the UMD movie format? Possibly, but I think a separate UMD player would be more useful.

via Yahoo! News

8 Responses to “UMD Movies Going to Die?”

  1. 1 Jack

    I saw this coming.. I’ve never bought a UMD. Why buy one if you can get a DVD for less

  2. 2 murder1

    I like the idea of umd movies but when people can rip to their memory stick, what is the point of them? If I was a bigger movie watcher then I would buy more UMD’s but I would rather be playing a game.

  3. 3 Bbad

    Umd Movies are cool but they should just try to pack them in with the Dvd version a special combo pack with both for like 25 to 30 would be okay.

  4. 4 Jake

    Am I the only one that sees the REAL problem? Price. $30 for a UMD movie? Seriously? There are actually people around who can’t see this as the number ONE issue for UMD success??

  5. 5 W J

    I have to say: The UMD quality is much better than a ripped stick version. But the cost is prohibitive. The PSP market is much much smaller than the DVD player market. They need to set a better price point that matches that market size.

  6. 6 dimplemonkey

    Go ahead and let the Wal-Marts discount the UMDs to about $5.99 and watch them fly off the shelves.

    Don’t the idiots at Sony realize what type of product they’re giving us? Yes, it’s a great format for viewing movies, but if you take away the additional goodies and have no outlet for a TV display, and have the audacity to charge about the same or more than conventional DVDs, then is the answer not obvious as to why the format failed?

    Are the masses not speaking louder to Sony or is Sony just plain deaf, dumb, and mute? I believe the latter.

  7. 7 Dr.Hookems

    Did u guys see the $40 Stealth UMD is there any more evidence

  8. 8 DAMAN

    I think that the UMD’s are a good format to watch movies the clarity is great. the prices are just to high they should be no more than $15.00 and they would sell more.

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