Report: Euro Blu-ray Player Shipments to Triple by 200928 Oct, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Shipments of Blu-ray players (excluding Sony’s PlayStation 3) in Western Europe are expected to triple to 1.8 million units by the end of 2009 despite current economic woes, according to a new report from Futursesource Consulting.
The London-based research firm said unemployment, falling house prices, low wage growth and faltering business confidence are hallmarks of a declining global economy that also portend a rosier outlook for home entertainment.
Characterizing consumers as beset with a “staycation attitude,” the report believes electronics purchases of Blu-ray players, flat-panel TVs and smart phones offer a better long-term value proposition compared to dining out, going to the movies or taking a vacation.
Futuresource said benefits of purchasing them include durability of use over time and importance as consumers retreat into their living rooms for entertainment.
The report cited economic slumps between 1980 and 1983, and in 2001, which revealed that sales of VCRs in the United Kingdom rocketed 440% in the early ’80s, while sales of digital cameras and DVD players continued to grow sharply after 2000.
“In times of economic hardship, we’ve seen consumer electronics and in-home entertainment weather the storm; indeed, expenditure in these segments can even increase,” said Sarah Carroll, director of strategy and continuous services at Futuresource.
One concession to the economy: size of flat panel screens. With U.S. flat-panel sales on track to reach nearly 30 million shipments this year, many consumers are shopping for smaller screen sizes, between 32-inch and 42-inch.
By 2010, overall shipments, including 50-inch-plus screens, will grow to 36 million units, according to the report.