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Blu-ray discs ride the wave with US sales up 28.5% in Q1 2013

Packaged media is weathering the digital 'onslaught' rather well - indeed is picking up after five years of downward trend - if we go by figures released by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Overall US packaged media sales were up 2%, to $2.1 billion from $2 billion in the first quarter of 2012. Blu-ray Disc sales increased by 28.5%.

According to DEG data compiled using studio data and retailer input and released via an official email to analysts, journalists, and industry affiliates, sales of new releases on Blu-ray Disc were up 37%. Sales of catalogue titles on Blu-ray were up 16% from the first quarter of 2012.

In the first quarter of 2013, physical disc rentals were down 11.9% to an estimated $1 billion through brick-and-mortal outlets, including a 5% drop through Kiosk services.

The number of Blu-ray homes continues to grow, with 3.2 million players sold in the first quarter (including BD set-tops, PS3s and HTiBs). Total penetration of all Blu-ray-compatible devices is close to 60 million US homes.

On the digital distribution front, over the same period, electronic sell-through (EST) increased 51.5% to $231 million, growing the total sell-through pie to nearly 5%.

Total consumer spending on digital content consumption was up 26.2%, to $1.56 billion. Beside EST, this rise is attributable to video-on-demand (up nearly 16% to $614.9 million) and subscription streaming (up 29% to $709.6 million).

Overall, in the first quarter of this year, US consumers spent an estimated $4.69 billion on home entertainment purchases and rentals, up from $4.46 billion in the first three months of 2012.

Story filed 09.05.13

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