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US entertainment spending up 1%

October 29, 2012

In advance of the important fourth ‘holiday’ quarter, where entertainment spending traditionally experiences an up-tick, US home entertainment trade body DEG: the Digital Entertainment Group has released Q3 figures that show overall consumer spending was up 1 per cent for the year, the industry strengthened by a 13 per cent growth in Blu-ray disc sales.

According to the DEG, the third quarter 2012 results mark another quarter characterised by industry steadiness as well as the continuing shift to selling films and TV shows via the digital marketplace and on the superior quality Blu-ray Disc format. In fact, Blu-ray, electronic sell-through (EST), and video-on-demand (VoD) – three of the industry’s highest growth margin areas – all saw material increases in the third quarter. Overall, consumer spending again showed stability, rising 0.24 per cent compared to a year earlier, says the DEG.

There were a number of promising trends in the third quarter, demonstrating an ongoing, healthy consumer demand for home entertainment product, says the DEG. Notable highlights from the report:

  • Consumers are embracing the expansion of digital products and services. UltraViolet registrations have surpassed six million. UltraViolet continues rolling out to other countries, with Canada scheduled in the fourth quarter.
  • Underscoring the popularity of digital product with consumers, EST rose an impressive 37.7 per cent increase in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.
  • Likewise, Video-on-Demand spending climbed more than 8.4 per cent in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2011.
  • In physical media, Blu-ray Disc continued its steady gains with spending up close to 13 per cent in the quarter compared to Q3 2011.
  • Sales of catalogue titles on Blu-ray Disc grew 22 per cent in Q3 from a year earlier. In fact, sales of catalogue titles on Blu-ray have shown impressive gains every quarter in 2012, continuing the trend set in 2011, when sales were up 20 per cent, underscoring how consumers have embraced Blu-ray as the standard for quality movie viewing in the home.
  • To that end, the infrastructure of Blu-ray homes continues to climb, with 2.8 million Blu-ray Disc players (including BD set-tops, PS3s and home theatres in a box [HTiBs]) sold in the third quarter, up 5 per cent from a year earlier. Total household penetration of all Blu-ray compatible devices now stands at close to 50 million US homes.
  • Accompanying the embrace by consumers of digital and Blu-ray movie viewing has been the upgrade of their home viewing experience better picture and sound quality. In the third quarter, 7.8 million HDTVs were sold to US consumers. HDTV penetration to date is now at more than 101 million US Households.

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