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New Data: Blu-ray Surged, DVD Slumped in 2008

A new and comprehensive study of 2008 sales data indicates that international revenue (notably excluding North America) for all video was $26.4 billion — including sales of slightly more than $18.1 billion. That represents about 4.7 percent less than the previous calendar year.

At the same time (that is, 2008), international Blu-ray sales jumped to $482 million, which is four times the total Blu-ray sales of 2007. While the four-fold figure is worthy of mention, the fact that Blu-ray sales globally did not reach the half-billion mark last year is likely attributable, at least in part, to the economic downturn that affected the latter part of 2008. (Again, this figure does not include North America, according to study author Screen Digest.)

Nine of the top 10 international markets — Japan, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Netherlands and Sweden — had negative growth in packaged video spending. The lone exception was Australia. The biggest drops in standard DVD sales occurred in Italy and Spain (down 15 percent each). Yet three large nations — China, India and Russia — saw a jump of more than 10 percent in video spending in 2008.