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Thursday, August 21, 2008
Blu-ray Market Update

The Hi Def disc markets in both the USA and Europe continue to perform in line with expectations, a recent report says.

According to a report by U.K.-based research firm Futuresource, consumers will buy close to 45 million Blu-ray discs in the US this year (more than 400% up on last year).

On big titles, the share of total sales being taken by BD has already hit 5-6% and by Q4 it is possible we?ll see a 10% or even 12% share for some of the really big hitters, the report claims.

In Europe, awareness and uptake are still lower overall, although in the key markets the retailers and the studios are reacting to an uplift in interest this year and are gearing up for a good end to 2008. "We expect 2% of unit sales in the lead markets of the UK and France to be on BD this year and this is likely to hit 5-6% next year," says Mai Hoang, a lead analyst in the Futuresource Home Video team.

By 2012, between 40% and 50% of consumer expenditure on video discs will be allocated to Bluray according to the latest analysis from Futuresource.

What has been disappointing to date for the content companies has been the lack of catalogue title sales, although the studios are showing no signs of reducing their interest in catalogue product.

"All eyes are on Warner?s initiative to cut catalogue prices," continues Hoang. "Other studios and the retailers are going to be watching consumer reaction to this very carefully."

"Much of the drive behind this increase is coming from growing consumer awareness and falling hardware prices, coupled with PS3 owners increasingly using their consoles for video playback," adds Jack Wetherill, who focuses on the hardware business at Futuresource.

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