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News in Brief

SKYFALL, the latest Bond movie, smashed the Week 1 Blu-ray sales record with nearly 545,000 units sold in its first seven days on release since 18 February in the UK and Ireland, and a total of more than 2 million units across BD, DVD and boxsets.

DVD RENTAL kiosk chain Redbox ended 2012 with a 45.3% share of the physical disc rental market in the US - up 7.5% from the fourth quarter of 2011 and nearly double the market share of online and by-mail disc providers. Blu-ray accounted for 12.5% of Redbox revenue for the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31) of 2012, nearly double the Blu-ray revenue from Q4 2011. During 2012 Redbox installed approximately 350 kiosks in Canada, with agreements in place with Walmart, Safeway, Loblaw's and Shoppers Drug Mart stores there.

THE number of Japanese households equipped with a 3DTV, 3D glasses and a 3D BD player has reached 4.5m in 2012, from 2.3m in 2011, according to IHS Screen Digest. These BD3D-enabled HHs will have spent ¥6,823m ($85.6m) buying 1.16m BD3Ds by the end of 2012, representing 9.3% of total Japanese spending on Blu-ray Disc this year. Japanese customers will buy more BD3Ds than their US counterparts - BD3D generated 8.1% of total US BD spending last year.

MORE than 1 in 4 (22 million) Germans have accessed films or TV series online, either as a download or by buying a DVD or Blu-ray online, according to research by Forsa for ICT industry group Bitkom. This translates to 41% of all internet users in Germany. In addition, 3.5 million Germans (7%) use subscription streaming services.

FIGURES from Screen Australia show that DVD sales continued to fall through 2010 and 2011, falling 12% and 25% respectively. While DVD sales fell 30% to $748.6 million in 2012, Blu-ray grew up 40% to $122.1 million. Blu-ray was included for the first time in Screen Australia's analysis in 2008 when it accounted for around 2% of total value and 1% of units sold. However in 2011, Blu-ray accounted for 14% of total value and 12% of units sold.

MEDIA packaging and printing specialist ASG, until recently known as AGI Shorewood, will close its Swindon printing plant at the end of February with the loss of about 80 jobs, according to press reports.

THE GLOBAL fight against piracy came to the West Midlands last week when police raided four addresses along with investigators from the Federation Against Copyright Theft. Ongoing investigations into the sourcing and supply of pirated films and TV led police to properties in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Birmingham where four people were arrested on suspicion of offences committed under the Copyright Act and a range of computer equipment including laptops, mobile phones, CDs, DVDs, USBs and external hard drives was seized. The people were suspected of being involved in the sourcing, editing, distribution and supply of pirated films via the internet.