Blu-ray software sales reach $1.8 billion in 2010, DEG says

Blu-ray software sales climbed 68 percent in 2010 to reach $1.8 billion, and the total number of players, including game consoles and stand-alone players, sold last year totaled 11.25 million, according to the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) yearend report for 2010.

In contrast to overall consumer spending, which was down 3.3 percent for 2010, Blu-ray software sales enjoyed remarkable growth, reaching $1.8 billion for the year. At brick-and-mortar retail destinations, Blu-ray was up 34 percent. DEG also estimates that as of the end of the year, there were 27.5 million Blu-ray playback devices in U.S. households, up 62 percent from 2009.

“We continued to see strong growth in Blu-ray and significant gains in digital distribution this year, despite a tough economy,” said Ron Sanders, president of DEG and Warner Home Video.

Consumer spending on delivery of digital content via broadband electronic sell-through and VOD grew a combined 19 percent to $2.5 billion, DEG reported.

VOD brought in $1.8 billion, up 20.8 percent for the year, while broadband electronic sell-through grew 15.7 percent to $683 million. So important was VOD to the entire rental category in 2010 that overall rental would have shown a 2 percent decrease, rather than 2 percent growth to $7.8 billion.

The trade group also estimates that more than 91 million HDTV sets have been sold to U.S. consumers, which brings the number of HDTV households in the country to about 56 million. DEG also estimates that nearly 39 percent of these households have more than one set.