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2009 Blu-ray sales to exceed 100 million discs

Prevalence of high definition screens and cheaper players will cause spike in sales, despite economic downturn

Consumers are set to buy more than 100 million Blu-ray discs across the US, Western Europe and Japan within the year, according to research by Futuresource Consulting.

The group's research indicates that the greater prevalence of high definition TVs and reductions in Blu-ray player prices will fuel interest in the discs despite the economic downturn.

"In the USA, Blu-ray has moved from early adopter phase through to early majority, with the format gaining real traction in the marketplace," said Mai Hoang, senior market analyst at Futuresource.

"Last year in the US alone, Blu-ray video retail sales increased by a whopping 320 per cent to 24 million units; and we're going to see momentum continuing in 2009, with over 80 million disc sales forecast."

"The UK is the largest market for Blu-ray discs in Western Europe," Hoang explained. "With sales of more than 3.5 million units in 2008, it represented over 40 per cent of the West European total."

Jim Bottoms, managing director at Futuresource, added: "Blu-ray disc sales continue to expand into all major markets and genres."

"Although to date the business has gravitated towards new release titles. In particular, the action adventure genre dominates, appealing strongly to the young male technology adopter, which also closely matches the PlayStation 3 owner profile."

"By 2012, around 50 per cent of US and 35 per cent of Western European video disc retail sale volumes will be Blu-ray."

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James Lee