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Blu-ray Disc Sales Double Year-on-Year

Gordon Kelly


Blu-ray Disc Sales Double Year-on-Year

The death of optical media may have been greatly exaggerated. Well, sort of...

Non-profit industry organisation the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) has announced sales of Blu-ray discs have virtually doubled year-on-year. The news comes after it reported 8.4m discs flew off shop shelves in Q1 2010 which represents a 94 per cent increase on Q1 2009. Total spending was 151.4m euros.

"Blu-ray has continued to ride the wave of success at the start of 2010 and it is promising to see consumers respond well to the format," said Warner Home Video senior VP Yves Caillaud. "The industry is providing consumers with the most innovative and enjoyable home entertainment experiences, and we expect sales to increase as the penetration of HDTVs continues to accelerate."

So we were all wrong and physical media isn't dead? Not really. You see if you look a little bit closer cracks start to appear. The first is sales of Blu-ray discs in Q1 2009 were actually up 109 per cent on Q1 2008, so the rate of adoption has slowed. Furthermore sales of DVDs during Q1 2010 were 135m at a total cost of 1.3bn euros which shows despite being on the market for nearly four years consumers still haven't been converted to Blu-ray en masse, even with the rip roaring success of flat screen HD TVs.

Will 3D boost it? Doubtful. After all while the Blu-ray 3D standard has been finalised, we have yet to see any commercial discs and sales of 3D TVs are likely to remain niche for many years to come.

Against this take-up of Sky+HD digiboxes, Virgin Media's expanding HD line-up, Amazon's disc on demand streaming service, PVRs and media players all provide ways to view High Def content without worrying about re-buying your entire movie collection in 10 years time.

Yes there will always be users who want a physical copy of their media - both audio and video - but they will be ever more marginalised as time passes. Will there even be a successor to Blu-ray? I'm hugely sceptical.


DEG Europe

Via TechRadar


May 21, 2010, 4:36 am

Netflix Please. With US programming.


May 21, 2010, 5:30 am

+1 to Netflix, unless a UK operator like LoveFilm can offer a comparable service. I agree that we're at the start of a transitional period from physical to online media. We're just waiting for broadband & distribution channels to catch-up.

Also, I know DVD was slow to catch on, so it'd be interesting to compare initial Blu-ray sales to what DVD managed in its first few years. I suppose another way to look at the figures, is that the move from DVD to Blu-ray isn't as big as the leap from VHS to DVD. And you need a hi-def TV to get the most out of Blu-ray, so that's another barrier.


May 21, 2010, 5:35 am

@Pbryanw - agree 100%. It's also worth pointing out DVDs didn't have any viable competition to dissuade upgraders. Blu-ray firstly had the distraction of HD DVD and now has to deal with the Web.


May 21, 2010, 1:00 pm

I suspect that this slow adoption rate has a lot more to do with the current crisis than with anything else. People are too scared to spend any money, especially on blu-ray, since their dvd decks are probably still working fine...


May 21, 2010, 1:02 pm

The barrier for me is the premium charged over the equivalent DVD. Offer added quality for a reasonable price and I'll bite. Take the p*** and I'll pass. Simple as that.


May 21, 2010, 3:54 pm

Consumers follow the path of least resistance, and right now that's DVD. Until we have an affordable, user-friendly device that provides seamless downloads through a mature ecosystem, movie downloads aren't likely to take off en masse. We need a new iPod & iTunes, so yeah, bring on Netflix, Boxee and anyone else who wants to give it a try.

Until these systems reach mass acceptance, I think physical media will be hanging around for a lot longer than some people think.


May 21, 2010, 8:00 pm

Now that you can get Blu-ray players for under £100 in some cases, I think I can stop bothering Microsoft about not producing a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360.

I think the HD-DVD add-on drive cost about £100 when it came out anyway.


May 22, 2010, 12:15 am

native Blu-Ray playback in Windows 7 Media Center without a ~£80 purchase please!


May 22, 2010, 8:10 pm

The licensing issues with Blu-Ray playback are another thing that will shift focus from physical to digital media. And that is a key reason "ChaosDefinesOrder" why there won't be native Blu-Ray playback in Windows 7. They'd have to pay Sony a hefty sum.


May 23, 2010, 4:01 pm

It would help if they didn't charge £17.99 when the DVD costs less than half that. And that assumes the film you want even exists on Blu-Ray... I can now imagine that many users will never buy a Blu-Ray disc in their lives.


June 1, 2010, 3:30 pm

I've ditched SKY it was costing £540+ a year, what a rip off, my favourite programmes trashed by adverts, then you have to pay again for bloody box office. Cheaper to just rent from Blockbuster or buy the Dramas you like in convenient box sets.

Heroes is awesome on Blu-ray!

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