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Holiday Sales Will Still Be Awash in Blu

18 Nov, 2013 By: Stephanie Prange

While the digital delivery revolution continues to draw considerable attention on Wall Street and in the home entertainment industry, Blu-ray Disc and Blu-ray Disc players will most likely be hot items yet again this holiday season.

Indeed, at least one analyst expects Blu-ray unit sales to grow.

“I predict Blu-ray Disc unit sales will rise in the neighborhood of 10% for the holidays,” notes Russ Crupnick, SVP of industry analysis with The NPD Group. “Despite the fascination with Netflix streaming, and a growing electronic sellthrough market, there is also a huge physical disc market.”

While an iTunes or other gift card may offer the digital equivalent to view content in the home, there’s nothing quite like a Blu-ray boxed set (which often includes a digital copy) to place under the tree.

NPD estimates the number of physical disc buyers in the United States at more than 50 million — and that number could be poised to expand as new Blu-ray Disc players enter the market.

It is notable that Walmart again is offering an ultra-low-priced LG Blu-ray player at $38 to kick off the holiday sales season Thanksgiving weekend.

Blu-ray also plays a part in two of the hottest game items this holiday season. The next-generation consoles, the PlayStation 4 from Sony and the Xbox One from Microsoft, will both play Blu-ray Discs. Each sale of those two new consoles puts another Blu-ray player in the home and creates another potential Blu-ray Disc buyer.

Movies on disc have been a staple of the gift-giving season for more than a decade, first solely on DVD and then also on Blu-ray Disc. There’s nothing quite like visually appealing physical discs of favorite movies and TV shows — both classics and new releases — to create excitement on the retail floor, in a stocking or under the tree.

While Netflix may shine on Wall Street, the holiday season is the ideal market for the physical disc. It offers retailers a flashy and exciting product to draw and keep customers in the store during the most important shopping season of the year.

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