DEG Claims Blu-ray Sales Up 91 Pct

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The Digital Entertainment Group, and industry consortium made up of major studios and consumer electronics manufacturers—has issued a press release on DVD and Blu-ray sales during the first half of 2009. According to the DEG< sales of Blu-ray movies are up a whopping 91 percent during the first half of 2009; however, to put that number in perspective, sales of Blu-ray movies totaled a mere $407 million, which is, historically, a pretty small slice of the overall DVD sales pie. In contrast, rentals and sales of digital media through outlets like iTunes, Xbox Live, and Amazon totaled $968 million in the first half of the year—more than double the revnue from Blu-ray sales—altghough online sales and rentals only grew 21 percent in comparison to the previous year.

The DEG also highlighted an increase in revenue from DVD and Blu-ray rentals, noting an 8.3 increase in revenue in the first half of the year as budget-conscious consumers opt to rent movies rather than buy them outright.

Overall, the DEG says sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs dropped 13.5 percent in the first six months of 2009…although the group has curiously omitted sales figures for the standard DVD market, which has historically represented the vast majority share of digital movie sales; the DEG included such figures in its reports as recently as the first quarter of 2009. The DEG did say, however, that the overall digital home entertainment market amounted to $9.73 billion in the first half of 2009, off some 3.9 percent from the same period a year ago. Doing a little math, that would seem to put revenue from the sales and rental of standard DVDs at about $8.35 billion, or about 20 times the revenue earned from Blu-ray.