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UK's biggest fortnight of the year for DVD/Blu-ray sales kicks off

Nearly 90% of UK consumers say DVDs and Blu-ray Discs make a great Christmas present according to a new survey released by the British Video Association, but many people are waiting until this week, when the final big video releases hit the shelves. A new consumer trend to put off the Christmas shopping until now will coincide with the release dates of what industry hopes will be the biggest sellers this Christmas.

Blockbuster titles set for release over the coming week, include: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Warner Home Video), The Inbetweeners Movie (4DVD), Rise of the Planet of the Apse (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), Frozen Planet (2 entertain), and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Paramount Home Entertainment).

As well as the titles above, a number of box sets and Triple-Play packs (DVD, Blu-ray Disc and Digital Copy) such as the complete Harry Potter collection and The Planet Collection including Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Blue Planet will be out in time for this sales “sweet spot”.

The survey also reveals that Boxing Day (26 December, a national holiday) is the most popular day for watching DVDs & Blu-ray which by coincidence is the day Christmas at Downton (Universal Pictures) is released.

Christmas is traditionally the most important time of year for video sales thanks to the gifting market. Indeed, over the last four years December has represented on average more than 21% of total physical volume sales and the industry is looking forward to an even better month this year, says the BVA.

The Entertainment Retailers Association predicted that 60 million videos, albums and videogames will be purchased as presents this holiday season and said that 300 truckloads of packaged goods will be despatched around the country.

Interest in digital video services is growing, as demonstrated by the 20% year-on-year increase in the value of digital transactions, announced by the British Video Association, giving this format a 15% share of the overall video market worth £206.3 million to the end of Q3, versus £1.14 billion value of the physical retail and rental sectors.

However, the BVA points out that physical discs are by far the most popular way to watch video entertainment, with over 127 million physical purchases so far this year.

“With Blu-ray hardware sales increasing by 19% since this time last year, and in the last three months more people are buying 3D Blu-ray players than standard Blu-ray, this should help drive Blu-ray Disc sales to build on the 16.6% increase already seen so far in 2011,” says Lavinia Carey, Director General of the BVA.

Including all digital and physical retail and rental transactions the 2011 video market was worth £1,345bn to the end of September, down 6% on 2010 and broadly in line with reductions in discretionary spend, reported by the Nationwide reports at an all-time low, down 12 points year on year to 77 points in September.

Third quarter figures quoted in this release are the first to be reported using an improved Official Chart Company methodology to report sales value. The BVA has therefore adjusted 2010 total sales of video entertainment as £2.3 billion (including digital transactions) rather than £2.6 billion, as published in the 2011 BVA Yearbook.

Story filed 28.11.11

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