Do Dvds Outsell Blu-Rays?

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Do Dvds Outsell Blu-Rays?

DVDs have been on the top of the physical media world for over two decades! They have been the go to for people to buy their favorite movie or TV show but as technology has continued to advance the DVD has begun to show its age. The picture quality of many DVDs isn’t even close to what we have come to expect from our giant high definition TVs and so Blu-Rays were introduced beginning in 2006. 

So, do DVDs outsell Blu-Rays?

As of the time of this writing there has never been a year where more Blu-Rays were sold than DVDs. At their peak DVD sales were over 18 billion dollars while Blu-Rays peaked at slightly over 2 billion dollars in sales. Blu-rays would have likely been more popular but Netflix came out with the first streaming service in 2007 after Blu-Rays had only been out for a year. 

Since many people had not adopted Blu-Rays yet many people went directly from using DVDs to streaming content on the internet and Blu-Ray sales never had the meteoric rise of sales like DVDs had in the early 2000s. 

To know more about DVD and Blu-Ray sales it is important to look at the differences between the two forms of media. 

Differences Between Dvds And Blu-Ray Discs

  1. Laser: The data on a DVD is read by a red laser whereas the data on a Blu-Ray disc is read by a blue laser. It is said that it is because of this characteristic of Blu-ray discs that they provide sharper and brighter images. For a person who wants to know about the technicalities, a Blu-Ray disc has a wavelength of 405 nanometres whereas the DVD has a wavelength of 650 nanometres.
  2. Resolution: As said earlier, Blu-Ray discs provide a higher quality picture than DVDs because they are read by a blue laser. However, this isn’t the only feature of Blu-Ray discs that make them better than DVDs. They also have a higher resolution that enables you to watch all your movies in high definition. The reason why this is possible is because Blu-ray discs have 1,920 by 1080 dots per inch while a DVD has 720 by 480 dots per inch.
  3. Data Transfer: Transferring data on to DVDs can be really time consuming. Especially, if you have high quality content. With Blu-Ray discs the time taken to transfer data is substantially less.
  4. Material: Blu-Ray discs are usually made up of different material than DVDs and hence appear to be thicker than DVDs. This feature of Blu-Ray discs makes sure that they are more durable than DVDs. The Blu-Ray disc has a protective coating that is 0.1mm thick and a DVD has a protection coating that is 0.6mm thick.
  5. Players: Blu-Ray players are more versatile in a way and can play DVDs as well as Blu-Ray discs. However, DVD players cannot play Blu-Ray discs. It is therefore always better to buy a Blu-Ray disc player as they are more flexible and compatible with both types of media.
  6. Storage Capacity: Blu-Ray discs have more space than DVDs and hence can store a lot more data. It is necessary for a DVD or a Blu-Ray disc to have adequate space in order for it to function properly and to store the movie or TV show. Since the Blu-Ray disc has much more space it can hold a much higher quality video than a DVD and can in turn give you a much better viewing experience. Sometimes, when a DVD is overfilled with data, it starts malfunctioning and lagging. This is rarely something that happens with Blu-Ray discs.

Why do DVDs outsell Blu-Rays?

Looking at the characteristics of the Blu-Rays mentioned above, one would easily think that Blu-Ray discs would sell more. However, this isn’t the case and if history holds true Blu-Rays will likely never outsell DVDs (unless they discontinue DVDs before Blu-Rays).  There are a few factors why DVDs have outsold Blu-Ray discs:

  1. Preference: People prefer buying DVDs for a variety of reasons and  one of them is preference. People are quite simply used to DVDs and how they work, they already have a DVD player and so they just continue to buy the same format that they always have.
  2. Cost: Cost is one of the major factors why people prefer buying DVDs over Blu-Ray discs. Blu-Ray discs are considerably more expensive than DVDs are. DVDs are affordable and hence preferred by many people who don’t want to spend too much on movies or shows.
  3. Availability: Believe it or not, DVDs are more easily available than Blu-Rays. As mentioned in the previous point, DVDs are cheap and hence easily available almost everywhere. Since Blu-Rays are more expensive many retailers cannot afford to have a bunch of them in stock and so they simply carry more DVDs.
  4. Compatibility: In order to play a Blu-Ray disc, you will have to have a Blu-Ray disc player or a video game system that plays Blu-Rays. This makes changing over to Blu-Rays an even bigger jump for people because not only do they have to spend more money on buying the discs themselves but they also have to upgrade their player. Blu-Ray players have come down significantly in price in recent years but the combination of having to buy a new player and the discs having a more expensive up front cost has seriously hurt the number of people that have changed to Blu-Rays. Blu-Rays will also not play on most computers and many people still use laptops to watch movies so they can only use DVDs.

Because of these and many more reasons Blu-Rays have never outsold DVDs. In the future this could change as it is likely that DVDs will be phased out before the higher quality Blu-Rays will be but in real terms when compared head to head DVDs have always sold more. 


DVDs have always sold more in volume as well as dollar amounts for as long as both formats have been around. Blu-Rays would have likely sold more than DVDs many years ago except the people that are on the cutting edge of technology went to streaming services rather than upgrading from DVDs to Blu-Rays. 

Many of the people who still purchase and use DVDs are those who don’t use a streaming platform or those who give them as gifts and since DVDs are more universally used and understood then they have remained more popular even though the technology of DVDs is almost 25 years old! 

Our guess is that eventually they will phase out DVDs and Blu-Rays entirely to go to just streaming platforms but until that happens the DVD continues to beat out the Blu-Ray disc. 

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