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Germany passes UK to become Europe's largest Blu-ray Disc market

Marking Germany as the exception in Europe, consumer spending on Blu-ray Discs and DVDs combined will increase 6.4% to €1.6 billion this year, says TANIA LOEFLER, Video Analyst at IHS Electronics & Media.

IHS Electronics & Media analysis indicates 32.2 million Blu-ray Discs will be sold to German consumers in 2013 - an increase of 39.5% over 2012 - generating €463.2 million in consumer spending.

Why is Germany leading the European Blu-ray Disc market? German consumers are upgrading from DVD due to strong promotion from major German retailers. Retailers like Media Markt and have not only driven immediate growth for Blu-ray Disc volumes, but have also effectively positioned it as the premium video format.

Germany already accounted for a 32.4% share (23.1 million) of the 71.4 million BDs sold in Western Europe in 2012. This is forecast to increase to a 40% share by year-end 2013, and by 2017, Germany will account for a 44.1% share (36.5 million) of the 82.7 million BDs sold in Western Europe.

The second key to the success of the Blu-ray Disc format in Germany is that the majority of BD-enabled households consist of standalone BD players as opposed to BD-enabled game consoles. IHS Electronics & Media analysis indicates that consumers with a standalone BD player purchase more discs on average every year than owners of BD-enabled Sony PlayStations.

In 2013, the number of BD-enabled households reached 11.3 million in Germany, surpassing the UK, Europe's largest physical video market, at 10.8 million households. By year-end 2013, 62% of German BD-enabled homes will own a standalone player; this is forecast to grow even further to a 66% share of total BD households by 2017.

Furthermore, Blu-ray Discs face relatively less competition from other content delivery means. While the penetration of both pay TV VOD-enabled households and PVRs in Germany will increase during the forecast period, both technologies in Germany will continue to lag behind the Western European average. The lack of compelling TV-based Video-on-Demand services and, more critically, the penetration of Personal Video Recorders - which are now almost ubiquitous with standard VOD-enabled pay TV set-top boxes ? means there is less competition for physical media in Germany.

During the forecast period, total German on-demand households are set to increase to 10.9 million; still only 6.8 million more than the Netherlands, a country of only 7.4 million total TV households compared to Germany's 39.4 million.

So, while physical media consumption has declined across Western Europe in the past five years, Germany stands out as an exception in 2013. The Blu-ray Disc format has found success in Europe's largest territory, proving that there is still life in discs.

For more information, contact Tania Loeffler.

Story filed 30.10.13

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