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Blu-ray growth brings US home entertainment market close to $19bn

The 2010 home entertainment market continued to be bolstered by the steady growth of Blu-ray as total US home entertainment spending hit $18.8 billion to close the year, according to the latest figures unveiled by the Digital Entertainment Group at CES.

Blu-ray software sales rose 68% in 2010, and consumer spending on digital distribution grew 19%. While overall consumer spending was down 3.3% for the year, Blu-ray continued its growth, with software sales of $1.8 billion. On the rental front, “despite challenging market conditions,” Blu-ray was up 34%t in brick and mortar outlets. The DEG estimates that the number of Blu-ray playback devices in US households soared to 27.5 million in 2010, up 62%.

Spending on broadband electronic sell-through (EST) and video-on-demand (VOD) grew a combined 19% to $2.5 billion. VOD brought in $1.8 billion, up 20.8% for the year, while broadband EST grew 15.7% to $683 million. Further, VOD significantly offset the decline of the entire rental category in 2010.

Without VOD, rental is down two percent for the year – with VOD, the category is back to growth, up two percent to $7.8 billion. The Hollywood-based trade group also reported that, in the US, consumer transactions for pre-recorded content grew one percent for the year.

Blu-ray Disc playback devices – including set-top box and game consoles – sold through more than 28.5 million units since launch. Some six million devices sold in the fourth quarter alone, bringing total units sold to 11.25 million in calendar 2010, according to numbers compiled by the DEG with input from retail tracking sources.

The DEG estimates that more than 91 million HDTV sets have sold to consumers bringing the number of HDTV households to nearly 56 million. The DEG further estimates that nearly 39 percent of these households have more than one set.

An estimated 20.2 million DVD players were sold to US consumers in 2010. Since launch in spring 1997, some 297 million DVD players, including set-top and portable DVD players, Home-Theater-in-a-Box systems, TV/DVD and DVD/VCR combination players, have sold to consumers, bringing the number of DVD households to approximately 90 million (adjusting for households with more than one player). The DEG estimates that 70% of DVD owners have more than one player.

According to figures compiled by Swicker & Associates on behalf of the DEG, in calendar 2010, more than 170 million Blu-ray Discs shipped to market. In the fourth quarter, some 73 million discs shipped to retail. Since launch, nearly 350 million Blu-ray Discs have shipped.

In the fourth quarter, nearly 343 million DVDs shipped to retail. More than one billion DVD units shipped throughout 2010 and more than 12.5 billion discs have shipped since the DVD format launched in 1997.

Story filed 06.01.11

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