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Report: Poor Economy Will Hit Hard at 2009 Euro DVD, BD Sales

17 Dec, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The United Kingdom will be hard hit in 2009 when it comes to a drop in DVD sales, and Europe on the whole will be slow to upgrade to Blu-ray Disc, according to research from Screen Digest.

The research firm reported that the closures of Woolworths, which accounted for 9% of British DVD sales in 2007, and its sister company EUK, Britain’s largest DVD wholesaler, will dramatically alter DVD at retail.

“Heightened attention to stock-management issues will alter surviving retailers’ DVD sales strategies,” the report reads. “As a result, industry supply rather than consumer demand is likely to dictate market conditions in the coming year.”

The report stresses that DVD will remain a popular choice for consumers during a worldwide recession: Europeans will have spent $10.2 billion on DVD by the end of the year, roughly a fifth of the worldwide market for DVD.

However, the recession couldn’t have come at a worse time when it comes to Blu-ray, according to Helen Davis Jayalath, head of video for Screen Digest.

“Many European consumers who might have upgraded their home entertainment system will now defer their decision, so the shift to Blu-ray will take longer than previously anticipated,” she said. “They will, however, continue to buy DVDs, safe in the knowledge that BD’s backward compatibility means that they won’t become obsolete.

“But the delay in BD adoption and the availability in the short term of high numbers of surplus EUK and Woolworths DVD stock mean it will take longer for consumer spending to return to growth.”

Screen Digest is still predicting that by 2012, Blu-ray will make up half of the home media sales in Europe.

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