Sony, a clear backer of the Blu-ray Disc, has released a
special report on the next-generation format’s current lead over HD DVD.
Although the source of the report leads to immediately brings up the issue of
obvious bias, the numbers cited come from reputable retail point-of-sake
statistics source Nielsen VideoScan.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was likely spurred to
release the report based on the success of Casino
Royale on Blu-ray Disc. The latest Bond flick debuted at the top of the
next-gen format sales charts with 28,233 units, making it the fastest selling
high-def disc to date. The release of Casino
Royale also boosted Blu-ray sales 74.4 percent for the week ending March 18
as compared to the previous week. In comparison, HD DVD sales fell 14.1 percent
compared to the week before that.
Blu-ray’s strong sales since the
beginning of 2007
have given it a 7 to 3 sales ratio versus HD DVD. Year to date sales of Blu-ray
are 549,730 units and for HD DVD 249,451 units.
Blu-ray’s lead isn’t as strong, however, when looking at cumulative
sales since each format’s inception. Total sales for Blu-ray Disc are around
844,000 and for HD DVD an approximate total of 708,600 units. Blu-ray surpassed HD DVD
in total units sold during mid-February.
In terms of movies, seven out of the top 10 best selling
high-def movies of all time are Blu-ray titles. For the week ending March 18,
nine out of 10 were Blu-ray titles. The only HD DVD to crack that week’s is The Departed in fifth place, while the
Blu-ray version held second place.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment also broke down the
high-def format unit market share. For Blu-ray, Sony leads
with 32.2 percent, followed by Warner at 19 percent and Fox at 13.7 percent.
For HD DVD, Warner accounts for 47.3 percent, followed by Universal with 38.3
percent and Paramount at 12.1 percent.
Although Nielsen VideoScan statistics are generally
indicative of market trends, they do not include Wal-Mart and some online
merchants. Sony’s choice to publish its findings after analyzing the latest
numbers is a clear indication of the confidence that Blu-ray Disc has in
winning the format war. Still, Blu-ray only took the lead from HD DVD in 2007,
which HD DVD supporters blame on their format’s relatively sluggish recent
months. With high-definition movie sales figures being insignificant when
compared to the numbers that DVD sells, both HD DVD and Blu-ray have a ways to
go before either one can truly be declared a winner.
For Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's full report, download
document here courtesy of Digital Bits.