It's to entice the manufacturers to gear up production for BR discs and to do it sooner than their good sense tells them to do so. So far, there is little movement in this area as compared to DVD media production in the same time frame. Philips Sony et tal realise that if the discs are to sell, they need to be plentiful and cheap. The best way, is to create a glut and competition between the manufacturers a la the DVD media scene. There is already a massive glut of HD BR movie discs.
Philips, Sony and the rest, will make even more money by lowering the royalty 4 cents- simply due to the increased sales volume. If they can make the prices drop. The manufacturers are simply just their flunkies. If they do nothing, they risk dissappearing into oblivion with yet another failed format. It's win-win for the patent holders risk-risk for the manufacturers. I hope they hold out for better royalty rate reductions!
If I were a manufacturer in these times, I would wait another year before investing capital into the BR fiasco, if only to wait out 2009 and see if the world economy improves. In the meantime, I bet that the same BR group will come forward with yet another Royaltty drop to try and speed up their decision. Hell, wait until 3 qtr of 2010 and watch the BR bunch squirm.
Right now, there are even 200 million BR movies gathering dust on store shelves. That has to be a concern...