Blu-ray Stats Compared to DVD
December 28, 2010

As readers know, I converted to Blu-ray earlier this year in order to get access to the special features often restricted to Blu-ray only. Studios are heavily pushing the more expensive format to shore up declining DVD sales. Given this, I found this brief article interesting for what it reveals about the two formats in comparison:

Blu-ray movie sales were up a whopping 75 percent year-to-year, with an expected $2 billion run this year. DVD sales are down significantly, finishing at $8 billion. Blu-ray players are equally promising. 13 percent of homes were equipped with Blu-ray going into the holiday season, but once the gifts are given the NPD expects 20 percent.

So while Blu-ray is showing the typical growth of a new format, as people rebuy movies and new customers jump aboard, it’s still only 25% of the sales of traditional DVD. And only 20% (at an optimistic guess) of households have a player, while based on these 2009 facts, more than 92 million households (out of 114 million) own a DVD player. That’s 81%, or again, four times as many. (DVD availability goes up to 100 million, or 88%, when you include computer DVD drives and game machines, which I know are included in the Blu-ray stats.)

There’s something for each “side” in this news — Blu-ray is growing fast, for those who champion the new format, while DVD is still safely the vast majority, for those who don’t want to upgrade yet.

11 Responses  
Scott Cederlund writes:  

The third side of the news would be digital delivery and what is it’s growth. It seems like Netflix’s Watch Instantly really grew this year as well as sales of Roku’s box and Apple TVs. While it still only has a fraction of the penetration of Blu-ray, I wonder what, if any, increase was seen digitally?

I know personally so far that I’ve skipped out on the Blu-ray format and have tried to go straight to iTunes, Amazon VOD and Netflix. You miss out on many of the extras but I’m getting to like the delivery method better.

Dwight Williams writes:  

Still not done with standard-format DVD. Not enough bandwidth via my ISP of choice(and the ISPs I would NOT choose have caps on all possible contracts, so far as I know hence my not choosing them), nor room enough on any hard drive I own for using iTunes and the like on that scale, and not interested in Blu-Ray.

Anthony writes:  

Not interested in Blu-Ray either. Prefer either DVDs, streaming video, or some digital file (used to ripping my DVDs and storing them on my PC).

Johanna writes:  

Scott, I suspect you’re not the only one — noted industry observers have speculated that the HD/Blu-ray format war several years ago irreparably damaged the “selling plastic discs” model of movie delivery, and now people are more interested in digital copies to avoid the storage issues. Me, I’d rather “own” copies without worrying about bandwidth and the like, but I’m no longer young and footloose. :)

Gordon writes:  

I wouldn’t bet on repurchasing movies on Blu-Ray being a significant factor in Blu-Ray disc sales. Unlike VHS-to-DVD, you can still play all your old DVDs in a Blu-Ray player, and most of them look just fine. (If a film snob like me can admit that, then I’d expect it’s true for the majority of consumers.)

Unless something is visually outstanding (i.e. Planet Earth, Life, How to Train Your Dragon), there’s just no reason to “upgrade” — and those DVDs *still* look better when played on Blu-Ray players, since they upsample the video slightly!

Another large factor keeping Blu-Ray sales down, though, is the significantly smaller selection. New releases come out in Blu-Ray quite often, but older movies like Citizen Kane and Ben Hur (a 65mm film that would certainly be worth rewatching, at least, in HD) aren’t even available yet.

Johanna writes:  

I find myself upgrading favorites I find cheap on Blu-ray with exclusive extras. But yes, being able to run everything in one machine is a good thing. And I would like to see more classics available, but the releases seem to be rather selective in that area, with most Blu-ray still boy-focused (science fiction, effects extravaganzas, action flicks).

Jamie Coville writes:  

I got a blu-ray player with my new computer a year ago. I still don’t have a lot of blu-ray movies because they are still very expensive, but I am occasionally getting something either because it’s on sale, or because I have a gift card. Still, thanks to boxing day sales I did splurge and got 4 blu-ray movies yesterday at Walmart.

I’ll say that blu-ray movies are nice, but depending on the movie you don’t really need the enhanced picture. I try to save it for animation, some sci-fi stuff.

Oh and also movies that I a) don’t already own on DVD and b) I haven’t seen in the theatre. I’m finding when it comes down to it, there are extremely few movies I want to watch more than once.

Adam writes:  

I looove Bluray. Picked up my first player last Xmas with a slew of movies. And this year I must have grabbed 15-20 movies.

As for them being more expensive — that’s true and not true. Typically they run $10 more in Canada but Amazon and many other retailers have them on sale very quickly. I picked up some of the titles for as little as 5.99 this week. Whereas its dvd counterpart is selling for 6.99 or 7.99.

The trick is not to buy them on release day. ;)

Johanna writes:  

Adam, very true. If you’re willing to wait a year or two and watch for deals, you can find under $10 Blu-rays on a certain selection of movies. And Jamie, I’m finding that when there’s a period of movie releases in theaters that don’t include much I want to watch, having a home library of something I know I’ll enjoy is a nice substitute.

Grant writes:  

I haven’t upgraded yet. Partly because it’s a luxury I can’t afford at the moment and partly because I remember how daunting it was to think about buying dvd’s to replace all my vhs tapes (which took me literally years to do). I get that same kind of exhaustion thinking of upgrading from dvd to blue ray. But them I’m old and cranky and set in my ways. ;)

Thom writes:  

One of the neat things with this change over VHS is that this time around, Companies aer offering relatively cheap ways to upgrade…Warners and Disney have had DVD-Blu programs. $4.95 to switch out for the Blu-Ray? That’s not a bad deal at all. I bought the Matrix set in HD twice (once in HD DVD and then I traded it in to WB for the Blu-Ray set) and have still paid less than buying in retail.


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