Is $53m a lot for a new media / format?
We're talking a new storage material, new(ish) writing and reading tech and new drives to process the above.
Note however that $18k a drive/$180 disk price point *must* be a starting point. Its nearest market model would *seem* to be the way video tape usage changed. Starting out as a high spec, high cost medium only available to broadcasters it *gradually* went mainstream. IIRC the first Ampex VTR was c1956, the first home VTR was 1965 (Sony CV2000), although I'd say it really took off when Phillips starting doing video cassetes rather than reel to reel, about 1972.
I will wish him good luck. It's been a *long* time since we've seen something genuinally new, with a storage life as long as vinyl records.