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German video market bucks Europe trend: Blu-ray, DVD up

At a time when the home video market appears to be doomed in many countries, specially in those where piracy and/or digital usage are spreading at a rapid pace, Germany’s home video industry continues to hold steady, reaching record levels.

In 2009, DVD and Blu-ray unit sales increased 9% to 113 million, up from 104 million units in 2008, according to Dataxis Intelligence’s market data. This uptake was partly driven by a 274% rise in Blu-ray sales, which amounted to 6.2 million in 2009. However, unlike most home video markets, Germany’s video industry did not see its DVD sales decline; In 2009, the format saw its unit sales increase from 101 million in 2008 to 107 million, a record high in the industry.

In terms of revenues, DVD sales stabilised at €1.26 billion in 2009, whereas Blu-ray revenues increased 184% to €119 million. The average price of a Blu-ray disc fell to €19.18 in 2009, down from €25.24 and €29.13 in 2008 and 2007 respectively.

Total home video sales increased 6.67% in 2009, reaching €1.38 billion, and thus recovering from the 3% decline of 2008, and surpassing the pre-crisis level of 2007.

In the first quarter of 2010, video unit sales reached 28.6 million, increasing 14% from the same period last year. Although the average video price declined 4%, total Q1 revenues rose 9% to €330 million. Even with sales soaring 400%, the digital market, which generated €11 million in the first quarter, still holds a relatively low share in Q1 video revenues.

It is estimated that during the first half of 2010, 4.5 million Blu-ray discs were sold in Germany. Compared to the same periode last year, sales increased almost 100%, confirming the attractiveness of the technology.

The outlook for 2010 remains all the brighter as market opportunities in the 3D segment are promising, provided that 3D Blu-ray prices be attractive. According to recent figures from Bitkom, 16 million consumers, or one in six German, say that they want to buy a 3D TV set. More than 26,000 3D TV sets have been sold so far. Bitkom expects sales to surpass 100,000 at the end of the year.

Story filed 10.08.10

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