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Friday, April 15, 2011
Consumer Spending on Blu-ray 3D Video to Skyrocket in 2011

On the back of encouraging market developments and increasing audience interest, consumer spending on Blu­ray 3D Disc (BD3D) in 2011 is forecast to rise 533 percent across the four big markets of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, according to new IHS Screen Digest research.

Combined consumer spending on BD3D across these territories will reach $213.9 million this year, up slightly more than sixfold from $33.8 million in 2010, BD3D?s launch year. The 2011 expenditure is the result of a collective purchase of 7.5 million BD3Ds, a significant increase on the 1.1 million titles sold last year to consumers, the IHS Screen Digest research said.

By 2014 BD3D consumer spending on BD3D is projected to reach $909 million, just over four times more than the figure anticipated at the end of 2011. Some 41 million BD3Ds will be bought by consumers in 2014, a hefty increase of more than 445 percent from the 2011 sell-through rates.

The BD3D titles being counted are specifically those that conform to the Blu-ray Disc Association?s BD3D trademark covering an explicit set of rules on what qualifies for the standard, such as the delivery of left- and right-eye images sequentially in full high-definitions 1080p. As such, the consumer spend forecasts exclude Blu­ray Discs that may play 3-D images but do not adhere strictly to the association?s BD3D criteria.

The upturn in consumer spending is the result of a number of positive occurrences in the home 3-D segment, IHS believes. This includes increasing consumer awareness of 3-D technology, growing 3-D hardware sales and an expanding catalog of 3-D films for the home environment.

Meanwhile, more BD3D titles in retail stores will enhance the technology?s profile among consumers and encourage 3-D hardware adoption. BD3D-enabled households?homes that have a 3-D TV connected to a 3-D Blu-ray Disc player (or Sony PlayStation 3) and the required glasses?are also likely to buy more BD3D titles if they have a larger slate to choose from, IHS maintains.

The increased number of BD3D titles is an important factor in boosting the public?s demand for home 3-D. The number of titles at retail was limited until September 2010, when more BD3D titles began to hit retail stores.

Movie studios are readying a slew of BD3D titles this year, with IHS forecasting just over 65 titles for the U.S. market. The Walt Disney Co. alone is planning to release at least 15 titles on BD3D, including the blockbusters "Tron Legacy" and "Tangled," along with "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King", which have been converted from 2-D to 3-D. These Disney titles will offer further incentive to upgrade to home 3-D hardware.

Warner Bros. will also convert three titles from the enormously profitable Harry Potter series, including "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One." The BD3Ds will be released in time for the last theatrical installment of the Harry Potter franchise, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two" in the summer of 2011, which will also be available in 3-D to cinema goers.

By far, the largest BD3D market in 2011 among the four Western territories will be the United States, accounting for 75.2 percent of consumer spending at $160.8 million, up from $28.4 million last year, IHS said. U.S. consumers will buy 5.7 million BD3Ds this year at an average per-title price of $28.33, compared to the roughly 900,000 titles bought in 2010 at the higher price of $31.09. Some 3.2 million U.S. households in 2011 will be BD3D-enabled, compared to 790,000 last year, with the number expected to exceed 22.5 million in 2014, IHS Screen Digest research shows.

The United Kingdom, which is expected to have about 60 titles on its market in 2011, will be the second-largest BD3D market of the four territories this year and the third largest worldwide behind Japan. U.K. consumer spending on BD3D will reach $25 million, up from $2.5 million last year. By 2014, spending will reach $91.2 million.

Germany will be the third-largest BD3D market of the four in 2011 with $15.8 million in consumer spending, followed by France with $12.3 million. By 2014, consumer spending in Germany will reach $88.9 million, compared to $46.8 million in France.

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