According to a report released by the Digital Entertainment Group, Blu-ray sales are up 58 percent during the third quarter of 2011 compared to the previous year. In fact, the amount of money that consumers spend on home entertainment has seen the first increase since the U.S. recession began in early 2008. With a five percent increase over the previous year, a portion of that was driven by Blu-ray sales as well as a 13 percent increase in electronic sell-through. The refers to the amount of digital downloads consumers have made to devices such as gaming consoles, set-top boxes, tablets and smartphones.
The amount of Blu-ray players in U.S. homes has risen to 33.5 million. This constitutes a 52 percent increase over the previous year and includes Sony’s PlayStation 3, set-top Blu-ray players and home theater-in-a-box systems with Blu-ray capability. When compared to DVD, Blu-ray sales have started to outpace DVD during the first week, but only on major-box office hits like Captain America: The First Avenger, Bridesmaids or X-Men: First Class. Catalog Blu-ray sales have also seen a large spike with a 60 percent increase compared to the previous year. This improvement is mainly attributed to titles such as Star Wars, The Big Lebowski, Citizen Kane and Scarface.
In addition to Blu-ray players, over 5 million high definition televisions were sold in the third quarter. This brings HDTV penetration to nearly 70 million U.S. households. The DEG data also points to the rapid demise of brick and mortar rental chains like Blockbuster. Renting titles from those establishments has dropped by nearly 30 percent while kiosk rentals, like Redbox, has seen an increase of about 23 percent. Subscription services like Netflix have increased by about five percent over the previous year and video-on-demand purchased have also increased by five percent. DVD sales seem to be on a downward spiral and are pulling down the sell-thru percentage on physical software.
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