New figures on the home entertainment market released by the British Video Association using data from the Official Charts Company reveal that Blu-ray Disc sales continue to rise despite the recession biting the sector as a whole in the first half of the year.
More than 3.1 million Blu-ray Discs have sold in 2009 to date, a rise of 231 per cent on the same period last year.
Hannah Conduct, Marketing Manager at the British Video Association says:
"The continuing success of Blu-ray is testament to the growth of consumer confidence in the high definition format. There are now almost 1500 Blu-ray releases in the market covering a breadth of titles. Seeing is believing with Blu-ray and the figures show that once consumers have experienced the format, they continue to spend their money on the product."
Hannah Conduct adds, "Older releases such as Trainspotting (4DVD), Bladerunner (Warner Home Video) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), have all experienced sales success on this exciting format, years after their initial DVD release. Many more Blu-ray titles are anticipated in the latter part of this year so consumers will have plenty of opportunities to add to their home entertainment collections."
With consumers upgrading to Blu-ray this has led to a fall in the numbers of DVD purchased. Sales are down 9.5 per cent year-on-year bringing the total number of discs sold in 2009 to 100 million.
The outlook for the second half of the year is more promising. The BVA's 2009 Yearbook shows that 30% of all sales take place in the last two months of the year and some of this year's big pre-Christmas releases including Bruno (Universal Pictures), Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (Warner Home Video), Ice Age 3 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), Terminator: Salvation (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), Tinker Bell (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount Home Entertainment) are expected to perform extremely well on DVD and Blu-ray.
Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Video Association, says:
"The home entertainment industry has weathered the recession extremely well during the last year but, sadly, with the loss of around 900 high street stores at the start of the year, following the demise of Woolworths and Zavvi, the sales generated from impulse purchases have been hit. This changing retail landscape has had a huge impact on our half year result. We hope as the year progresses that new retailers will fill the gap by stocking home entertainment products to give consumers a wider choice."
The BVA also points to industry research conducted at the end of last year by TNS, indicating that 72% of consumers felt that they would have significantly less disposable income in 2009, with 31% strongly agreeing. Most respondents (98%) said they would be actively seeking out promotions and offers.
Lavinia Carey adds, "People must also be increasingly tempted to search out methods of downloading illicit content for free on the Internet. With an increasing number of new internet services coming on stream, the industry is aiming to encourage greater consumer up-take of legitimate downloads."
The latest forecasts from Screen Digest suggest that legitimate online video will grow in significance, comparative to growth in physical discs, as a distribution channel and revenue source between now and 2012.