France: Shorter windows reverse slump

Trial regulations in France, shortening release windows, have helped the territory to show growth in the home-entertainment sector for 2009, bucking the trend across much of Europe.

Analyst Screen Digest suggests that volume business will be up by as much as 17 per cent for 2009, while market value could grow by up to 3 per cent when digital and on-demand are also factored in. This reverses a total volume decline of 19 per cent over the previous five years, which also saw total market value decline by almost a third.

The home-entertainment market has been buoyed by a number of factors, chiefly new legislation which has seen France's release windows — set by the government — shrink. Previously the theatrical to sell-through video/DVD window was set at six months, and pay-per-view and video-on-demand set at eight months following theatrical release. These have been brought in line with one another and reduced to four months.

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