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News in Brief

MEDIA Control GfK’s latest report notes that 33% of the international territories experienced either positive or flat DVD and Blu-ray annual revenue performance in 2009. Germany and Sweden led all territories, followed by Switzerland and Australia. However, other leading markets, the UK and Japan, mirrored the US with double-digit sales declines from the prior year. Other notable findings from the report estimate the number of Blu-ray units sold through to consumers is expected to increase this year on average nearly 70% across the key international markets.

AGI, a leading packaging provider, supported Fox with their DVD and Blu-ray European Avatar release. AGI handled this key release from localisation through to delivery with tight deadlines. Using the AGI facilities of Slough and Thamesdown in the UK plus Thalgau in Austria, 4.5 million o-rings, 7.5 million sleeves and 10 million inserts were produced along with lenticular collector artcards for 11 European countries.

THE PIRATE Party UK put in a dismal performance at the General Election on Thursday, after its nine candidates garnered a total of just 1,127 votes between them with one result still to come in. The party's leader, Andrew Robinson - who picked up just 173 votes in Worcester - claimed his anti-copyright outfit had a "relatively successful" contest at the ballot box. Overall PPUK, which was formed in June last year, picked up 0.3% of the vote in the constituencies where the party's members stood for election.

TORONTO-based replicator Cinram said total revenue for the quarter to March 31 was $301.5 million, slightly down on the $303.1 million in 2009. Revenue from DVD and Blu-ray replication and distribution was $240.6 million, up 9% from $220.6 million in 2009 as a result of higher North American and European shipments and a currency gains. The company replicated 243.6 million DVDs in the first quarter, up 13% on 215.6 million units in 2009, and Blu-ray disc replication revenue doubled to $8.9 million, from $4.4 million in 2009.

WARNER Bros. Entertainment Group is expanding its DVD2Blu programme, allowing consumers to upgrade 90 Warner titles to Blu-ray from DVD. Consumers can upgrade their titles at, which launched in 2009. The process involves selecting a title online and mailing in the standard DVD version with pre-paid postage, after which a Blu-ray Disc title will be sent, starting at $4.95 plus shipping and handling charges.

DELUXE Digital Studios has announced plans to stream 25 million theatrical trailers to internet-connected Blu-ray Disc players by the end of the year using BD-Live. The company said it has already streamed 8 million theatrical trailers through BD-Live, which can offer updated content on packaged media releases.