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Discs 'Über Alles' in Germany

23 May, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

German sales of DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies surged 6% and 33%, respectively, in 2013

German consumers reportedly still love packaged media when it comes to buying movies.

Indeed, 90% ($2.1 billion) of the €1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) German consumers spent on video entertainment in 2013 was for packaged media, including 83% for retail sales, Andreas Bork, head of digital & online at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment GmbH, and head of UltraViolet Group Germany, Switzerland and Austria, told a digital panel.

Consumers spent just 1% ($24 million) on subscription streaming — a tally that should significantly increase when Netflix bows SVOD service in the country later this year.

Bork presented the statistics during a May 22 discussion at ANGA COM digital confab in Cologne. Bork said that while video rental stores are dwindling, physical sales remain strong.

He said Germany remains an ideal market for UltraViolet, the cloud-based content storage platform. The digital locker platform was launched in Germany last September and currently has about 100,000 registered user accounts, according to Bork.

“Germany is very conservative and people are still buying [discs]. They want to own,” he told attendees, according to Broadband TV News. “It looks like the physical market is here to stay. At least for the time being.”

Separately, Jim Benz, VP of business development at CSG Content Direct, the Englewood, Colo.-based digital consulting company attending ANGACOM, said facilitating direct-to-consumer digital content sales in Europe could best be achieved by media retailers embracing UltraViolet.

Benz said he is in talks with Media Markt, a German chain of consumer electronics stores, and Media-Saturn, Europe’s largest CE retail chain, about including UltraViolet in their retail pitches.

“Retailers who are selling DVDs and BDs now also want to sell digital content as physical goods start to decline. They want to capture digital market share,” Benz said.



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