Blu-ray Sales Fail to Live up to Expectations

A new analysis from the UK-based Screendigest shows that international sales for packaged media is down across the boards. The sagging DVD market has been expected to decline, but blu-ray sales were expected to bolster the industry. A combination of slower-than-expected retail sales and the recession are to blame.

The hardware sales for blu-ray were down, but of the people that bought blu-ray players, including PS3s, owners bought a meager 1.5 movies per household. The report suggests that DVDs remain “good enough” for most titles, and the cost simply cannot be justified by most households.

Many had hoped that the record numbers of Avatar blu-ray disks sold would be enough to turn the trend around, but other factors, including reports that outside of the US, Avatar did not show significantly higher numbers than most other releases. From those that did buy it, the majority bought the less expensive DVD copy.

According to report author and Head of Video Helen Davis Jayalath, “The failure of the Blu-ray format to capture enough of the market in 2009 means this downward trend is now set to continue, with the short-term uplift in video spending that we had previously expect to see in 2010-2011 now unlikely to materialise.”

“Assuming no change in studio pricing policies, BD (blu-ray disks) will account for 35 per cent of total international spending on buying physical video formats by 2014, spending which will have fallen by 22 per cent since 2007, from $18.6bn to $14.5bn,” the report states. “By contrast, in the US BD will represent over 68 per cent of physical video purchasing by 2014, although that figure will have declined by 35 per cent since 2007, from $13.3bn to $8.6bn”

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