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Europe 's 2008 Blu-ray disc sales pass 8-million mark

Across Europe, Blu-ray Disc movies hit a new high in the run-up to Christmas with 1.5 million discs being sold in the month of December – an increase of almost 400 % compared with the previous year. Over 6.5 million units of software have been sold to date, with year on year growth up 320 per cent, according to Futuresource.

In the year to end of November 2008 Blu-ray Disc player sales experienced growth of 1317 per cent in Europe (excluding PS3, Norway and B2B sales) according to GfK, data.

GfK reveals that European Blu-ray movie sales exceeded 8.1 million in 2008, representing 304 per cent growth compared to the previous year.

Examination of sales performance in some key European markets shows that Blu-ray’s growth in popularity is a pan-European trend. The BDA newsletter reports that in Germany more than 1.6 million Blu-ray discs were sold last year with a marked increase in sales during the period from October to December.

In France, Blu-ray movie sales topped 1.7 million and represented a 410% increase on the previous year. Of this total, some 47% of sales were made during the fourth quarter of 2008. Blu-ray's share of the optical disc market is expected to double next year to 6%.

In Italy, the Blu-ray disc market share by value increased from 1.5% in Week 51 of 2007 to 5.2% in Week 51 of 2008.

The strongest market performance in 2008 was registered in the UK where Blu-ray disc sales hit a new high in the run-up to Christmas: 1.5 million discs were sold in December alone, up almost 400% against the same period in 2007. In total, the format has sold over 3.7 million units in the UK during 2008 according to the British Video.

As for Blu-ray players, they are experiencing a strong upsurge in European sales that is expected to continue in the New Year. Futuresource predicts overall sales to more than triple in 2009, reaching 2.5 million units Europe wide – a figure that excludes PlayStation 3 consoles.

Story filed 19.02.09

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