Recent price shifts in the cost of bulk orders of blank DVD discs have seen CD-R production hit a new low in Taiwan forcing questions to be asked about the long-term prospects of the format.
OEM prices for CDs have remained stable, with prices currently standing at around $0.10 a disc. However, OEM prices for 4x and 8x DVD+R/-R discs have dropped to just $0.11 a disc. This has resulted in OEM orders that were originally for CD-R discs being switched to DVD+R/-R.
The moves have sparked fears of a price war, which could push the cost of DVDs below the cost of CDs for the first time. Taiwan's two leading OEM manufacturers of optical discs, CMC Magnetics and Ritek, have both moved production over to 16x DVD+R/-R and 8.5GB DVD+R/-R DL to avoid such a price war.
Questions must be raised as to whether or not this price point could see manufacturers shift production of music and other traditionally CD-based media over to DVD, if only to take advantage of the higher amounts of space and increased DRM-facilities available on the format.
Japanese consulting company BOC, added to the speculation of CDs demise by saying it expects global demand for DVDs to reach 6.5 million; edging the format ever closer to global CD shipments of nine to ten million units a year.