updated 12:45 pm EDT, Thu July 16, 2009
Blu-ray Sales Climb 91pc
The Digital Entertainment Group today trumpeted a surge in newer video formats for the first half of the year. Although spending as a whole between January and June dropped 3.9 percent versus the early part of 2008, the industry agency says the amount of money spent buying Blu-ray movies jumped 91 percent to $407 million. Direct-download movies also helped offset problems with DVDs and climbed 21 percent to $968 million.
Rentals also climbed slightly, by 8.3 percent, but were again mostly helped by a 62 percent boost from those renting Blu-ray titles.
Either increase is particularly vital to the movie industry, which has had a difficult time steering viewers away from the more than ten years old DVD format. Blu-ray has been hurt both by its successful competition against HD DVD and the high costs of movies but has recently been helped by plummeting costs for both computer and dedicated movie drives, with some of the latter reaching below $200. Downloads have been helped by a wider selection as well as the rising popularity of services like iTunes and Netflix. Apple only just added mobile movie downloads from its store and is unlikely to have affected DEG's statistics, but Netflix is now available both on computers as well as LG and Samsung Blu-ray players, Roku's Internet Player, TiVo and the Xbox 360. [via Crave]