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Report: U.S. Blu-ray Sales to Top DVD Sales by 2012

19 Aug, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sales of Blu-ray Discs in the United States are expected to total about 45 million units this year (up 400% year-over-year) and equal to 61% of all packaged media (DVD) unit sales by 2012, according to a new report.

Industry experts expect a banner fourth quarter, with BD sales already accounting for 5% to 6% of major title sales, according to London-based Futuresource Consulting. That sales percentage could reach 12% on some of the major releases.

“I would be amazed if we don’t see a Blu-ray player in the U.S. at or below $250 by the end of the year,” said Futuresource analyst Jack Wetherill. “To stimulate consumer traffic in the holiday season, who’s to say there won’t be a player [priced] closer to $200?”

The report hinted at a relative dearth of catalog titles released thus far on the next-generation optical-media format despite assurances by studios to up distribution.“All eyes are on Warner Bros.’ initiative to cut catalog prices,” said Mai Hoang, a lead analyst with Futuresource. “Other studios and retailers are going to be watching consumer reaction to this very carefully.”

By comparison, the report said sales of Blu-ray movies in Western Europe would lag compared to those in the United States, representing 50% of home entertainment sales in France, 46% in Germany, 44% in the United Kingdom, 43% in Spain and 39% in Italy.

“We expect 2% of unit sales in the lead markets of the U.K. and France to be on BD this year, and … likely to hit 5-6% next year,” Hoang said.

The report concluded that by 2012, upwards of 50% of all consumer spending on packaged media will be on Blu-ray Disc.

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