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Blu-ray Disc Sales Increase 35% in 2011

Posted December 7, 2011 02:17 PM by Tony Sanchez

Blu-ray DiscHome Media Magazine reports that strong sales of Blu-ray discs for the third quarter of 2011 have driven the expected sales percentage increase over 2010 to 35%. After a sluggish start to 2011, popular Blu-ray titles such as: The Lion King, Cars 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 have enticed disc buyers to choose the superior HD version of the movie over the comparative standard definition.

The new Home Media Magazine article indicates that, "BD disc sales in the United States will reach about 115 million units in 2011, compared with 85 million units in 2010 spearheaded by the Star Wars: The Complete Saga boxed set release, Jim Bottoms, analyst with Futuresource in London, told Home Media Magazine.

In Europe, BD disc sales will balloon 42% to 63 million units, compared with 44 million units last year driven by strong adoption in Germany. Global BD disc sales will increase to 234 million units, up 45% from 161 million units in 2010.

Bottoms said that in addition to growing appeal for catalog titles in Blu-ray, consumers are less resistant to purchasing content in HD, despite the higher price compared with DVD."

The current week's Blu-ray slate features the comedic box office hit of the year: The Hangover Part II, an acclaimed spy thriller: The Debt, a contender for various Academy Awards: The Help, and the lastest film from Director Jon Favreau: Cowboys & Aliens. In addition, the unexpected box office smash Rise of the Planet of the Apes will be making its Blu-ray bow next week. Thus, disc sales will continue to thrive and gain new ground for the HD disc format.

Source: Home Media Magazine | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (24 comments)

  Dec 07, 2011
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Simply start to have price parity between BD and DVD releases and you will then have spectacular BD adoption rate!

  Dec 07, 2011
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hell I pay half from what I was paying for dvds in the early 2000's

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Jim L
  Dec 07, 2011
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The blu-ray prices are excellent now compared to when they first came out.

I can frequently get a new blockbuster title for $19.99 or less including all the DVD, digital copy etc. When you throw in a coupon it's getting ridiculous!
  Dec 07, 2011
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I've been thinking the same thing. The average price for DVDs I purchased in the 2000's was around $14 - $20. Now, we have recently released BDs on sale at $9.99 and many good, older titles well below $10. I probably buy too many BDs at this point but finding a lot of good movies for around $7 - $9 eases the pain on the wallet.

  Dec 07, 2011
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I rarely pay above 10$ for my BD movies so I know that good deals exists. But most new releases have the BD priced higher than the equivalent DVD. Since the actual manufacturing cost is a small percentage of the selling price, there is no outstanding reason for the BD premium.

That the average selling price is lower now than in 2000 is irrelevant to what I'm saying!

  Dec 07, 2011
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If prices didn't drop from what they were initially, I doubt there would be such a dramatic increase in the numbers sold. So when you sell 35% more at 50% lower prices, is that good?
  Dec 07, 2011
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No need to get defensive about the relevance of the average price in 2000. My comment was by no means directed at you. Simply a statement about the lower price points we now have compared to the last decade, and the great deals we now have when buying movies.

I'm just glad about spending less per movie and getting a better quality product along with it.

Sellers will always charge what the market will bear, and people are usually willing to pay a premium for higher quality. The studios and retailers will squeeze every last penny they can get out of the consumer in order to maximize profit. Sadly, that won't change no matter how hard we wish for price parity.

  Dec 07, 2011
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Lower prices are always good.

Lower quality, not so much.

  Dec 07, 2011
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Maybe if they got rid of the Digital Copies, they could lower the price and be even more competitive.

  Dec 07, 2011
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I bet the studios as well as the retailers would rather handle one inventory of movie titles than two. Having only one format is like doubling shelve estate, twice as much titles will fit! Shutting down or repurposing DVD production chains to BD only outta bring scale economy and simplified logistic, which we could all benefits.

That's why I so much favor DVD being phased out and merily suggest means to get there!
  Dec 07, 2011
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I agree that studios and retailers would rather simplify their chains and inventories. But it won't happen while there's still a market for both DVDs and BDs. There are still a lot of DVD users out there so studios/retailers aren't going to alienate a considerable segment of their market and diminish sales as a result. They'll phase out DVDs when demand and profit margins shrink to the point where it's no longer economical to sell them.

The way Blu-rays are selling according to this article, that may not be such a long time.
  Dec 07, 2011
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I don't know where that 35% is coming from.
YTD (through 11/26), BD has done $1615.10 million.
YTD 2010, BD did $1292.89 (that's a revised number from HMM). That's a 24.92% increase.

Sales are very inconsistent from week to week, so how the end of the year is going to come in is very hard to predict. I thought we'd see really big increases over last year as soon as the shopping season started.

Here's what we've actually seen (all numbers + or - 2010. 1st number is the week only. 2nd number is the cumulative number for the year to date:
10/8: + 57.7% week; +22.01% YTD
10/15: +42.2%, + 22.64%
10/22: +120.8%, +25.19%
10/29: +111.56%,+27.08%
11/5: +2%, +26%
11/12: +68.3%, +27.17%
11/19: +0.5%, +26.31%
11/26: +5%, +24.92%

So as you can see, 11/5, 11/19 and 11/26 were very weak. Other weeks were very strong. Hopefully 12/3 comes in killer. Perhaps with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, that week will come in double last year. On the other hand, if most people have already completed their holiday BD buying, it's not going to be a strong year at year's end. And of course, it takes more units to make the same $ numbers because prices have dropped, especially the holiday special sale prices.

And we are nowhere near the time when DVD is going to be phased out. DVD still holds a 77% dollar share, year to date and it holds an even higher unit share, since DVDs are less expensive than BDs. And shelf real-estate is not an issue because this is a hit driven business (more hit driven than I would have ever guessed). Nothing under the top 10 sells worth a damn and sales increasingly come from ecommerce anyway. So get real fanboys.

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Blu Titan
  Dec 07, 2011
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@ ZoetMD, HMM estimates (through the end of December) 115 million BD units sold in 2011 vs 85 million sold in 2010...35% increase. Anyways, DVD will start to be phased out from the hardware side first as CE manufacturers will limit the amount of DVD players produced as well as the retail space. DVDs will be around for a long time doubt.
  Dec 07, 2011
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Great news but I'm against with what the article when it stated " consumers are less resistant to purchasing content in HD, despite the higher price compared with DVD". Blu-ray prices still scares me away from buying it. At least $20 is as far as I'd go.

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  Dec 08, 2011
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I love seeing Blu Ray sales up. My mom is even starting to buy me blu rays now so she can get the DVD copy. It's just all around good to see confidence continuing to rise in this format.

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  Dec 08, 2011
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But...but...Reed Hastings says discs are dead.
  Dec 08, 2011
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I don't like how the studios have raised the prices on blurays. Blurays used to be $25 or more, then, they seemed to hit the 'magic' retail price point of $19.99 when Transformers 2 came out. Now, they are back to being $25 retail for the barebones, and $30 for the combo packs.

I guess I should add that these prices are what I see in brick and mortar stores, like Best..err..Worst Buy, and even Walmart. I still remember and love how Walmart said when Transformers 2 came out, they were going to get competitive w/ Amazon (which is why that movie's price point became $19.99 on release day), but since then, their prices have just shot up and are as bad as Best Buy.

  Dec 08, 2011
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If BDs have gone from 85 to 115 million in the US, what were DVD sales doing over this period? I used to see BD vs DVD marketshare on this website, but they seemed to stop updating.

  Dec 09, 2011
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Year-over-year press releases are meaningless and just playing with stats. The important (and not reported) number is what percentage of total media sales BD represents (not just against DVD, but streaming/downloads). If that number were favorable it would have been part of this press release...

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  Dec 09, 2011
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Yesterday the home media magazine website had a story stating that physical media was 85% of the market share and downloads/streaming was only 15% and that blu ray will be around for quite some time. I think Apple, Netflix, Vudu, etc. would like us to believe that streaming/downloads are all the rage but in reality people (like myself) still like to have a collection that I can touch. Also, the article stated that the quality of Blu Ray is still superior to downloads and that there was no way in the forseeable future that BRD could be beat.

  Dec 09, 2011
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When one of the studios finally decides that "Hey, lets release this new blockbuster only on Blu-ray!" than you will see the final nail in the coffin for DVD releases.

I just wish they would stop giving me a DVD with the Blu-ray I buy! That's bound to be an extra $3-$5 on price.
  Dec 09, 2011
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If they release it blu ray only, it will likely be that they've decided the economics make sense to do that. Very unlikely.

Right now if the blu ray doesn't come with a dvd - like the recent x-men 1st class, for the decent price, I have serious reservations about buying it... they did make the sale to me - but only at 9.99 whereas I'd have considered paying more to get the dvd version included. I really didn't want to make the purchase at all, but we had someone wanting to watch it at a time of their choosing.

I think this business of asking 25 and other stupid prices per film is to get you to buy it with urgency when it is available at a more normal price. Many films I long ago bought on vhs or dvd for a few dollars now cost insane amount of money - if you can even buy them. I have lots of credits from amazon for digital downloads or rentals but its just not something I'm interested in. If I'm going to pay for the movie I want something to show for it and don't want to worry about is suddenly stopping working because of some commercial entity's whims.

I suspect grognard66 nailed the situation completely - nothing like facts and fresh air for airing the situation.

One trick that does them no good is advertising the availability of a digital down load - and then when you buy the boxed set you find your digital download is not available to you - after all you waited for the price to be reduced. This does absolutely nothing to encourage purchases rather than going with a rental approach.
  Dec 10, 2011
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Yet for some reason stores like Wal-Mart have less space devoted to Blu than they did last year.

  Dec 10, 2011
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It's increased sales due to finally having sub 100$ players and many 8-10$ films

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