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CEA: Blu-ray Player Shipments to Jump 112% in 2009, Despite Recession

20 Jul, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Burgeoning shipments of Blu-ray Disc players in the second half of the year are expected to contribute to a 112% increase in unit sales by the end of 2009, according to a report from the Consumer Electronics Association.

One year after emerging as the next-generation DVD format of choice after a protracted battle with Toshiba-backed HD DVD, Blu-ray players continue to be poised for growth. Unit shipments of Blu-ray players will jump 112% this year, reaching nearly 6 million. Even as prices drop, revenues are expected to top $1 billion, an increase of 48% over 2008.

The Arlington, Va.-based trade organization said the high-definition packaged media format player, along with smart phones (up 3%) and high-definition televisions (up 8%), will drive CE sales in through the end of the year. 

Indeed, CE retailers continue to actively promote Blu-ray players, with several offering a free player with the purchase of a big screen HDTV, in addition to average unit prices falling closer to the $200 price point.

Southern California-based Ken Cranes chain this week is offering multiple brands of BD players from $197. Some retailers have hinted that BD player prices will continue to decline to around $100 entering the infamous Black Friday post Thanksgiving weekend sales fest.

In addition the CEA said digital displays continue to be the primary revenue driver for the industry, comprising 15% of overall industry sales. Unit shipments of displays remain robust, projected to be up 8% this year. LCDs remain the display of choice for consumers, with unit volumes jumping 24%.

Sales have been spearheaded by lower price points and aggressive financing, including interest-free terms for 12 months and more, and tax-free sales events throughout the summer. As a result TV display shipment revenues are expected to drop 6% this year to $24 billion.

“The CE industry is not impervious to the economic downturn but remains resilient compared to other industries,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA, in a statement. “Through innovation and global access to consumers and open markets, technology companies will restore economic growth and prosperity. American consumers continue to purchase CE products despite cutting back in many areas, showing that consumer electronics are vital to everyday life in this country.”

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