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Blu-ray Disc Production Tops 400M Units in 2010

16 Dec, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Production of Blu-ray Disc movies and TV programming exceeded 400 million units in 2010, an increase of nearly 60% over 2009, according to a new report.

London-based Futuresource Consulting said with Blu-ray content and players a major retail focus through the winter holidays, BD production capacity will hit nearly 80% in the United States during fourth quarter and 75% in Europe.

“This is about as high as it can comfortably get, and given the continued market expansion expected over the next few years, which is being driven by growing player ownership and falling disc prices, the industry will need to invest further in 2011 to prevent peak quarter disc shortages,” said Michael Boreham, senior consultant disc manufacturing and storage media at Futuresource.

Boreham expects Blu-ray disc production to reach 2 billion discs globally by 2014.

Specifically, the report said studios remain committed to maintaining inventory levels commensurate with the growing market, and retailers are keen to maintain good levels of copy depth in store, to strongly promote the high-definition format and eliminate out-of-stock, lost sales.

Indeed, Walmart, the largest retailer of packaged media, is significantly positioning Blu-ray movies in key foot traffic locations, including point-of-purchase displays and promotional posters at the entrances and exits of stores.

Redbox, the largest kiosk vendor is pushing Blu-ray through its “Better in Blu” campaign that allows consumers who rent a Blu-ray movie or video game (and leave an e-mail address) a chance to win a prize pack featuring a Sony BDP-S570 player and a free weekly Blu-ray rental for a year.

Redbox is awarding five prize packs per day through Dec. 31.

Separately, Blockbuster is offering new release in-store Blu-ray rentals for the same price as DVD, $4.99 for three days. Blockbuster Express has also begun offering premium priced Blu-ray (and DVD) rentals of select titles weeks before they are available through other rental and retail channels.

Fiona Hoy, market analyst at Futuresource, said efforts to bundle 3D Blu-ray movies with hardware has become key to the new format's launch.

“From 2012, we’re going to see very strong demand for 3D content, which will fuel additional growth,” Hoy said. “A number of bundled exclusives are already boosting demand from this sector, such as Avatar with Panasonic displays or How To Train Your Dragon with Samsung displays.”

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