Today marks the launch of Warner Bros. DVD2Blu program which allows consumers to trade in their DVDs for Blu-ray releases of the same title. The replacement isn't free, of course, with prices ranging from $7.95 to $9.95 per title plus shipping. However, Warner Bros. has indicated that orders over $25 will receive free shipping.
This offer does not apply to every Warner Bros. standard DVD release — currently only a list of around 60 titles are eligible. With the quality improvement of Blu-ray over standard DVD, most of the eligible titles make sense (i.e. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dark City), but others are less obvious, albeit popular titles that are likely to be in the collections of consumers (i.e. Harold and Kumar Go To the White Castle, Dumb and Dumber).
Disney's Bob Iger recently made a splash in the news with less than hopeful statements about the decline in DVD sales over the past few years. He said, in essence, that "folks who love to collect DVDs already have 80 or so in their libraries, the new Blu-ray machines are 'backward compatible' (meaning that they can play the standard DVDs) and folks simply aren’t going to go out and replenish those libraries as they did when the DVDs first replaced VHS tapes."
It's a smart move for Warner Bros., betting that consumers will start making that shift to Blu-ray at a lower price-point, particularly with back-catalog items that many already own.