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Blu-ray discs, kiosks, streaming subs kept US consumer spending up in Q1 2012

US consumers spent a total of $4.45bn on home entertainment in the first quarter of 2012 - a 2.47% rise over the same period last year, according to the latest figures from The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG). The industry body attributes the growth to gains in Blu-ray discs, steady increases in electronic sell-through (EST) and video-on-demand (VOD) spending.

Blu-ray discs saw continued double digit growth (up 23%) in sales over first quarter 2011. The hi-def format now accounts for one out of four of all of the physical sell-through dollars spent compared to less than 15% two years ago. Consumers purchased some 2.4 million Blu-ray players during the first quarter of 2012 (including set-top players, PS3 consoles, and home-theater-in-a-box systems). Total US household penetration of all Blu-ray-compatible devices now stands at more than 40.8 million.

Sell-through (DVD and Blu-ray) spending contracted by - 0.62% in Q1 2012 to $2.55bn. Brick & mortar rental went into free fall, declining by 39.4% over the same period in 2011 to hit $305m. However, kiosks are the success story, generating $523m, a steep 30.1% up.

Although electronic sell-through (EST) remains the smallest segment of the home entertainment market, spending on downloads of movies and TV series increased 17.4% year-over-year during the first quarter, to $165m.

Physical sell-through of theatrical product was up 2% for the quarter, while catalogue sales on Blu-ray Discs were up 27%, and TV programmes on Blu-ray were up 54%.

Video-on-demand (VOD) grew a modest 6.8% to $505.3m. From a low $85m in Q1 2011, consumer spending on subscription streaming shot up 545.4% to $548.6m in the first quarter of 2012

Story filed 01.05.12

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