Whilst IFA is drawing attention to Europe, newly released market intelligence indicates that it is North American market which is creating the boiler house for the
global acceptance of Blu-ray Disc.
Fresh data from media industry analyst Futuresource Consulting indicates that in the US Blu-ray Disc sales are expected to exceed 45 million this year, which
represents a fourfold increase on 2007.
A significant driver of this increase is the attitude of retailers who, within the video sector, are increasing their in store space allocations to Bluray.
Futuresource indicates that Blu-ray provides retailers with a larger margin than DVD so they?re happy to give the new format a major push. Particularly within the
larger retail chains, such as Best Buy and Walmart, and in larger cities Blu-ray can now account for upwards of 20 per cent of the video space allocation within flagship stores.
"Much of the drive behind this increase (in BD Sales) 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. "I would be amazed if we don?t
see a Blu-ray player in the US at or below $250USD by the end of this year, and in order to stimulate consumer traffic in the holiday season who?s to say there won?t
be a product at closer to $200USD?"
The Blu-ray Disc Association welcomes these latest research findings and believes they are indicative of the real environment on US high streets.
"We're very pleased with Blu-ray's progress this year,? comments Andy Parsons, Chairman of the BDA US Promotions Committee. ?The number of available titles is
increasing rapidly, the variety and price range of Blu-ray players and computers is growing, and interest among consumers and retailers is higher than ever. I think
we can look forward to a very strong holiday season for Blu-ray Disc."
US performance bodes well for global markets
The performance of the US market is seen as an important indicator for Blu-ray?s potential within a global context. Victor Matsuda, Chairman of the BDA Global Promotions Committee sees this recent strong sales growth in North America as positive for every territory.
"We are seeing more attractive pricing on entry-level products as a key part of a much larger line-up of Blu-ray products," commented Matsuda. "More than anything, I think this and possibly lower prices on BD movies too, will provide a huge stimulus to Q4 Blu-ray business."
"In the US, we see a tremendous expansion of Blu-ray product distribution in new retailers, as well as a massive expansion of floor space within current retailers," continued Victor Matsuda.
In Q4, I anticipate a strong push for Blu-ray from some
of the studios, hardware manufacturers and retailers centred on BD-Live."