DVD remains the most popular home entertainment choice but Blu-ray disc sales up more than 500 per cent in the UK

Sales of Blu-ray discs for the first half of 2008 have grown by 506 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the British Video Association (BVA).
Yet, despite the huge increase, the format still only represents 1.2 per cent of the total UK video market, with sales of nearly one million units.
The BVA’s half-year results show total sales in 2008 are up 3.3 per cent compared with the same period last year, a rise it attributes to the increased level of consumer choice provided by the HD formats – both BD and HD-DVD.
In the US, DVD also remains the most popular home entertainment choice but there are differences emerging among age groups.

Lavinia Carey, director general of the BVA, said the availability of DVD, Blu-ray and legal downloading meant viewers now had more options when deciding how to consume their home entertainment. She said this increased supply of choice was  a factor in the growing demand.
“Last year proved a bumper year for the home entertainment industry with 250 million videos sold and DVD accounting for 99 per cent of that,” she said.
“We are delighted to see that the half year 2008 figures reveal an increased demand for home entertainment, especially in the current challenging economic climate.”

Other figures released by the BVA include:
Ratatouille is the best seller of 2008 so far with over 1.2 million copies sold
Stardust, Atonement and The Golden Compass have also experienced high sales each exceeding 800 thousand copies on DVD alone.
 Titles such as Family Guy, Die Hard 4, Alien vs Predator and Alvin & the Chipmunks have made 20th Century Fox the best selling studio of the 2008 so far.

Research from Knowledge Networks in the US found that 98 per cent of the 30- to 43-year-old Gen X and the 13- to 29-year-old Gen Y groups, and 88 per cent of 44- to 54-year-old Young Boomers, said they use DVDs.
But the report, “How People Use the Video Marketplace”, shows that 67 per cent of Gen Y said they buy DVDs at least once a month, 71 per cent of Gen X and 51 per cent of Young Boomer.
Additionally, 67 per cent of Gen Y said they rented at least once a month; 65 per cent of Gen X and 44 per cent, Young Boomer.

The pattern starts to diverge with Web-delivered content, with 52 per cent of Gen Y, 37 per cent of Gen X and just 21 per cent of Young Boomers saying they stream video.
With downloading, the breakdown is 37 per cent Gen Y, 18 per cent, Gen X and 11 per cent, Young Boomer.

However, both younger and older generations indicate they normally do not pay for this new media video usage. With video streams, 3 per cent of Gen Y said they bought monthly; 4 per cent, Gen X and 3 per cent, Young Boomers. With video downloads, 2 per cent of Gen Y said they bought monthly, 2 per cent Gen X and N/A for Young Boomers.

David Tice, VP and group account director at Knowledge Networks said DVDs were the “bread and butter” of content providers.
“But the growing availability of video in digital forms is impacting on peoples’ expectations,” he said.
“We found, for example, that 84 per cent of consumers expect to be able to watch video on the device of their choice.”
The question is, will consumers be willing to pay for the convenience of access in the digital world? And how can content and service providers encourage repeat use and buying in the new media? We’re interested in hearing your thoughts.

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