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Blu-ray Sales Up 123% in UK

The British Video Association (BVA) announced that that video home entertainment has weathered the recessionary storm in 2009, with December unit sales up 1.8% over the same time in 2008, giving the market a traditional seasonal boost.

According to the statement, sales of Blu-ray discs in the UK. increased 123% year-on-year to 8.4 million units and made up 3.4% of total video sales. In Q4 the high-definition format made up a higher proportion of new release disc sales than ever before, with Blu-ray accounting for 26% of District 9 sales, 23% of Terminator Salvation sales and 22% of Inglourious Basterds and Star Trek 11. Since their launch 13 million Blu-ray discs have sold.

Stand alone Blu-ray player sales rose 158% to the end of November, which the BVA estimates could bring total sales in 2009 to over 600,000.

For more information visit: www.bva.org.uk


Edited press release follows:

2009 NEWS RELEASE: SALES ROBUST IN A TRANSITIONAL YEAR FOR THE BRITISH VIDEO INDUSTRY

January 2010: New figures on the home entertainment market, released today by the British Video Association (BVA) using data from the Official Charts Company, reveal that video home entertainment has weathered the recessionary storm in 2009, with December unit sales up 1.8% on the same time in 2008, giving the market a traditional seasonal boost.

Q4 sales volumes increased 83% on the previous quarter and were only 3.0% lower than the same period in 2008, when Woolworths and Zavvi were still trading. The closure of these two chains last December, which together represented 13% of the market, severely hit the following first quarter video sales in 2009, as it did other entertainment sectors. Since spring the decline has levelled out and the BVA anticipates seeing overall growth return in 2010. This is expected to come from the increasing digital market and from Blu-ray discs, as HD-ready TVs are forecast to rise from 58% of UK TV households in 20091 to 72% this year, boosted by HD TV coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June.

Sales of Blu-ray discs increased 123% year-on-year to 8.4 million units, demonstrating the increasing strength in demand for the high-definition home entertainment format, and made up 3.4% of total video sales. However in Q4 the high-definition format made up a higher proportion of new release disc sales than ever before, with Blu-ray accounting for 26% of District 9 sales, 23% of Terminator Salvation sales and 22% of Inglourious Basterds and Star Trek 11. Since their launch 13 million Blu-ray discs have sold.

Simon Heller, Blu-ray Partners Campaign Director of the BVA, says:
“The BVA’s 2009 Q4 campaign targeted households with an HD-ready TV to explain that the best way to get the most out of your HD-TV is to watch content on Blu-ray. Bolt-on technology such as a Blu-ray player is a fraction of the cost of the HD-TV itself, yet it is only this that gives you the ultimate 1080p high-definition experience – with five times the picture quality – that your HD-TV is designed for. With hardware prices falling to the £100 mark, 2010 is the year to make the most of your home entertainment technology.”

Stand alone Blu-ray player sales rose 158% to the end of November, which the BVA estimates could bring total sales in 2009 to over 600,000.

Rising popularity of Blu-ray was offset by a 7.3% year-on-year decline in DVD sales. DVDs account for 96.3% of the home entertainment video retail market, meaning total sales of video have dipped 5.6% to 243.5 million units from 257.9 million in 2008.

Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Video Association says:
“The home entertainment industry has come through the recession fighting and rallied in the run up to Christmas. Total video sales are down 5.6% due to several factors, including the effects of copyright theft andthe changing retail landscape. Careful shoppers have benefitted from the fantastic promotional offers last year but the loss of Woolworths’ and Zavvi’s 900-odd stores meant that the 13% market-share they jointly represented, worth around £300 million, has been slow to replace, particularly given the high propensity of Woolworths shoppers to buy on impulse. ”

While DVDs, and increasingly Blu-ray discs, remain the most popular formats on which to view video, consumers are progressively trying new formats within the digital market, such as paid-for ‘downloads to own,’ reflecting an exciting transitional period for the video industry.

Lavinia Carey explains:
“It is an exciting time for consumers, especially as new technological developments are announced every week, offering people more choice than ever when deciding how to view video at home or on the move. Furthermore, it suggests that although sales of DVDs have dipped, Blu-ray and digital formats are beginning catch on.”

Mike Brown, Head of Technology at the BVA adds:
“Monitoring online digital transactions in the future will be crucial for both distributors and retailers as they need the information to plan future sales and investment strategies. As the rights owners’ trade body, the BVA is the driving force uniting the industry and encouraging them to provide the data to form the digital sales and rental charts.”

In the meantime, demand for stand up comedy titles grew by 2%, proving that the nation has not lost its sense of humour, children’s titles grew by 1.4% over the year and music video sales ended the year up an impressive 14.1%, boosted by demand for product following Michael Jackson’s death and a new Take That release – The Circus Live, which sold 574,000 units in December.

1 Source: Screen Digest Screen Digest is the pre-eminent firm of industry analysts covering global media markets. Headquartered in London, with offices in Los Angeles and Monterey, California, and Australia, we employ a team of over 40 specialist analysts covering film, television, broadband, mobile, cinema, home entertainment and gaming. Our online services and reports provide the information and analysis that hundreds of media companies worldwide base their decisions on. Most recently we have launched Global Media Intelligence (GMI), a new service which provides research and analysis specifically for media-focused institutional investors. Screen Digest acquired Monterey, California-based Adams Media Research in 2007. www.screendigest.com.

The ‘digital market’ includes download to own, download to rent and video on demand services and pay-per-view TV packages.

Top 10 Best Selling titles 2009 (all formats – titles in bold include box-sets)

No Title Distributor

Units Sold

1. Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince Warner 2,256,944
2. Quantum Of Solace

Fox

2,040,228

3. Twilight E1 Entertainment 1,815,543
4. Transformers – Revenge Of The Fallen

Paramount

1,409,839
5. Slumdog Millionaire

Fox

1,383,838

6. Madagascar – Escape 2 Africa

Paramount

1,294,955
7. Michael McIntyre – Hello Wembley

Universal

1,286,863
8. Angels & Demons

Sony Pictures

1,190,645
9.

High School Musical 3 – Senior Year

Walt Disney 1,171,198
10. Ice Age 3 – Dawn Of The Dinosaurs

Fox

1,160,853

Top 10 Blu-ray titles in 2009

No Title Distributor

Units Sold

1. Transformers – Revenge Of The Fallen Paramount

227,846

2.

Star Trek 11

Paramount

227,846

3. Quantum Of Solace

Fox

227,846
4. The Dark Knight

Warner

177,990
5. Terminator – Salvation

Sony Pictures

158,648

6. Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince Warner 143,910
7. Inglourious Basterds

Universal

117,993

8. Watchmen

Paramount

101,604

9.

X-Men Origins – Wolverine

Fox

89,272

10.

Planet Earth – The Complete Series

2Entertain

87,604

The British Video Association
Video encompasses the home entertainment industry as a whole – from packaged media such as DVD and Blu-ray Discs through to digital services onto portable devices and for home consumption, with ever increasing consumer choice of access and price points. The industry releases about 10,000 titles a year and the BVA champions all content delivery channels.

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