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US Blu-ray player sales up 72%

First-quarter US sales of stand-alone Blu-ray Disc players increased 72% over the same period in 2008, according to the March update of The NPD Group’s retail tracking report, quoted by TWICE.

NPD’s point-of-sale retail tracking data showed that U.S. stand-alone BD player sales (not including PlayStation3) surpassed 400,000 units in the period, as dollar sales increased 14% to $107.2 million.
The report also showed that overall US consumer awareness of the BD format hit the 90% mark in the past six months.

NPD said purchase intent for Blu-ray players also rose slightly in recent tracking surveys, with 6% of respondents saying they would be “extremely or very likely” to buy in the next six months, compared with 5% who responded similarly in the August report.

The study said the reason cited most often by consumers who are not interested in purchasing a BD player at this time was that “their current DVD player is good enough, they feel the cost of hardware or software is an issue, or they simply aren’t interested in the product.”

The average selling price of a stand-alone BD player fell nearly 34% to $261 in Q1 2009, the report shows. Consumers who claimed that they are likely to buy in the next six months expect to pay $214 on average, NPD said.

However, a report released by research group comScore indicates online purchases of DVDs and Blu-ray movies suffered even more than brick & mortar sales during the first few months of 2009, as there has been a 22% overall drop in consumer spending on movies.

“Consumers who shop through online sites such as Amazon and Best Buy are more weary about what they spend their dollars on, and a couple hours of video entertainment seems to no longer be an acceptable expense,” says the analyst.

Story filed 18.05.09

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