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UK DVD Sales Slump Dramatically As Blu Ray Enjoys Strong Growth

Nearly 100 million DVDs were sold during the first six months of 2009 according to the British Video Association which tracks sales of a number of video supports.

The figure, although impressive, hides the fact that the sales were down 7.7 percent by volume and almost double that figure by value. This points to the fact that many retailers have been using heavy discounting to attract customers.

The demise of the old Woolworths and Zavvi might have been one factor affecting the sales. Lavinia Carey, of the BVA says that the two retailers owned a sixth of the market last year and this has vanished.

But sales volume for Blu-ray have significantly gone up. 3.1 million blue discs were sold over the same 6 months period, a 231 percent rise. Should the same trend continue for the next two years, Blu Ray sales will hit 38 million.

There are currently more than 1500 Blu-ray releases o the market and all new movies are simultaneously released on DVD and on Blu-ray. Furthermore, Blu-ray players no longer carry the price premium they used to. Sub £100 are now common place.

Ditto for HD ready screens which are vital to watch high definition footage in all their glory. Entry level HD television sets can be purchased for under £200.

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Our Comments

DVD sales might be affected by a number of other factors. Piracy might provide part of the answer. There's also the fact that DVD rentals and secondary sales (as on Ebay or CEX) are booming. There's also PVRs and on demand services like Virgin on Demand that removes the need to actually purchase any medium.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.