Despite of the global economic crisis, U.S. consumer spending on home pre-recorded entertainment, which includes DVD, Blu-ray disc (BD) and digital distribution, was around $4 billion in Q3 2009, down by 3.2% annually. BD movie sales continue to show growth with overall sales up 83% for the year and playback devices in 11.7 million U.S. households. However, sales of packaged media continue to decline, reports Digital Entertainment Group.
Sales of Packaged Media Down amid Increasing Penetration of Blu-Ray
Consumer spending on sell-through packaged media was down 13.9% in the third quarter, meanwhile, Blu-ray was up 66.3% to $161 million compared to the same period last year (up 83% year-to-date to $568 million). Digital distribution (including both video-on-demand and electronic sell-through) was up 18% for the quarter to $420 million (up 20% year-to-date to $1.4 billion). Furthermore, according to Rentrak Corporation’s Home Video Essentials, rental spending was up 9.9% for the quarter, with Blu-ray rental spending up 44.5%.
The DEG also announced that consumer transactions for all home entertainment products were up 6.6% for the third quarter compared to the same period last year.
High-Definition Becomes Market Driver
Blu-ray, proving to be home entertainment’s stand out performer in 2009, is accounting for 12% of all theatrical new release sales in the third quarter. The year’s best selling Blu-ray disc title “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Watchmen” (Warner Home Video) have each approached or surpassed 30% of consumer spending on Blu-ray disc.
According to figures compiled by Swicker and Associates on behalf of the DEG, more than 17 million Blu-ray discs shipped to retail in the third quarter of the year in the USA, an increase of 35% over the same period last year.
According to figures compiled by the DEG based on data from CEA, retailers and manufacturers, Blu-ray disc playback devices sold 3.3 million units through the first three quarters of 2009, an increase of 13% over same period last year. Through the first three quarters of 2009, Blu-ray Disc set-top player sales grew 112% over same period last year.
Blu-ray playback device households are nearly 11.7 million and include PlayStation 3 consoles. Approximately 80% of Blu-ray devices are BD-Live capable.
“We’re enthusiastic about the continued promise of Blu-ray Disc with more entry level players coming to market and the upcoming strong slate of box office blockbusters,” said Amy Jo Smith, executive director of Digital Entertainment Group.
Furthermore, according to figures compiled by the DEG based on data from CEA, retailers and manufacturers, approximately four million HDTVs were sold to consumers in the third quarter of 2009 and nearly 12 million sold in the first three quarters of the year. Household penetration of HDTVs in the U.S. is nearly 45 million, representing almost 40% of all U.S. households. Approximately 29% of all HDTV owners have more than one set.