M&E Daily

Blu-ray Bolsters Home Entertainment’s Third Quarter

Blu-ray disc sales continued to grow in the third quarter, with overall sales up 83% for the year and playback devices now in 11.7 million U.S. households, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Although overall consumer spending on sell-through packaged media was down 13.9% year-over-year in the third quarter, Blu-ray sales were up 66.3% from the same period in 2008, to $161 million. Year-to-date Blu-ray sales are up 83%, at $568 million.

What’s more, while overall rental spending was up 9.9% for the quarter, Blu-ray rental spending was up 44.5%, according to Rentrak Corporation’s Home Video Essentials.

Blu-ray accounted for 12% of all theatrical new release sales in the third quarter. The year’s best selling Blu-ray titles, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) and Watchmen (Warner Home Video), have each approached or surpassed 30% of consumer spending on Blu-ray.

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, 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 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 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, along with a variety of set-top players that are available as either stand along models or combined with home theater systems. Approximately 80% of Blu-ray devices are BD-Live capable.

Approximately four million HDTVs were sold to consumers in the third quarter of 2009, with nearly 12 million sold in the first three quarters of the year, according to figures compiled by the DEG based on data from the Consumer Electronics Association, retailers, and manufacturers. 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.