WORLD: Futuresource Consulting has issued some fascinating new research about Blu-ray disc and CD sales, writes David Davies. UK-based research organisation Futuresource predicts that consumers are on target to buy more than 100 million Blu-ray discs across the USA, Western Europe and Japan this year.
Rising sales of HD-capable LCD and plasma TVs, along with continued reductions in the cost of Blu-ray disc (BD) players, are said to be fuelling interest in packaged HD content despite the current economic climate. The UK is the keenest adopter of BD in Western Europe, with more than 3.5 million sold in 2008 - more than 40% of total sales in this region.
Jim Bottoms (pictured), managing director of Futuresource, commented: "With more than 1,100 BD titles to choose from, combined with growing retail support and increased promotional activity, the rise of Blu-ray will offset rapidly declining sales of standard DVD product. By 2012, around 50% of US and 35% of Western European video disc retail sale volumes will be Blu-ray."
In other research, Futuresource Consulting has discovered that while CD sales continue to decline globally, they remain the primary revenue generator for record companies.
Consultant David Sidebottom tells PSN-e: "Our initial estimates indicate that the US CD albums market fell by approximately 18% in terms of units in 2008. In Europe the market performed better than anticipated, with the equivalent decline in most markets at between 6% and 10% down, partially due to better than expected sales in Q4 and some strong-selling titles. Declines are expected to worsen slightly in 2009 but the market will still remain hugely significant."
Factors cited in the decline of the CD format include the ongoing shift towards online music consumption. Futuresource says that online music accounted for approximately 25% of USA record company revenues in 2008, with around one in seven albums purchased being an online download.
However, says Sidebottom, "the picture is different in Europe. The UK leads the way, but on average online music accounted for less than 10% of total record company revenues in 2008."
Image: Futuresource, copyright 2009