12 million Blu-ray players will ship this year

Monday, April 20th, 2009 
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New Futuresource quarterly analysis

Despite the economic downturn, global shipments of Blu-ray players, excluding PS3, are expected to total nearly 12m units this year, according to the new quarterly ‘Blu-ray Hardware Performance’ tracking service from Futuresource Consulting.

“We carry out in-depth research on an ongoing basis, obtaining inputs from a wide range of companies operating in the global Blu-ray hardware business, including vendors, retailers and component suppliers,” says Jack Wetherill, Research Consultant at Futuresource. “In last year’s crucial Q4 period, three million BD players were shipped globally, which represented more than 50% of the total for the year. And the trend is continuing, with our projections showing shipments for Q1 2009 will reach 1.2 million units, significantly up on Q1 2008.”

All eyes will be on Q4 this year, with Futuresource predicting shipments in excess of six million units in that quarter alone, a healthy year-on-year growth that will successfully propel BD into the next decade.

“Sales of HD-capable LCD and plasma TVs, and continued dramatic reductions in BD player prices also continue to fuel interest,” Wetherill continues. “In the last quarter of 2008, average retail prices for standalone Blu-ray players fell by 15% in most major markets and we’re going to see them fall by another 25% during the course of this year. Add to that the raft of movie titles being issued on Blu-ray – over 1,100 at the end of last year, on track to more than double this year – coupled with the increase in promotional activity and the continued benefit of growing PS3 ownership, and we’ll see Blu-ray continue to gather momentum in all major markets across the globe.”

With a lucrative roadmap stretching out for at least the next five to ten years when you factor in the rise of 3D and its associated technologies, which are ideally suited to the BD delivery platform, and there is clearly a long-term opportunity for the industry to further sustain consumer interest in Blu-ray.