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More Good Tidings

15 Apr, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Good morning, and greetings from Santa Barbara, Calif., where I am taking a brief vacation with my family while my boys are off school for spring break. I’d like to share with you two bits of good news for our business, amid shaky rumblings of how the total home entertainment business, even factoring in a 108% uptick in Blu-ray Disc sales, is down 11% for the quarter — which, by the way, mirrors just about every other business I can think of.

Good tiding No. 1 is the latest report from The NPD Group, home of our good friend Russ Crupnick, one of the sharpest industry analysts I’ve ever come across. According to NPD’s latest tracking study, “Entertainment Trends in America,” U.S. consumers plan to either hold steady or increase their entertainment spending in 2009, something we’ve already seen reflected in the up box office. The NPD report also indicates that 51% of consumers surveyed purchased a DVD or Blu-ray Disc in the last three months, a higher percentage than video games (36% of consumers) or CDs (31%).

Good tiding No. 2 is that things are looking up at at least one of the six major studios’ home entertainment divisions. The president of said division told me on the sly that “we made our numbers” in the first quarter, something he was hoping for but not really expecting.


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