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Has Sony advertising boosted Blu-ray purchases?

Warner Home Video research shows an increase in the number of PS3 owners purchasing Blu-ray films

Owners of PlayStation 3 consoles in the US are using their consoles to play Blu-ray disc movies in increasing numbers according to research done by Warner Home Video.

During the final quarter of 2007, PS3 households spent 15 per cent of their PS3 time watching Blu-ray movies. In January and February, the proportion increased to 23 per cent.

The research, revealed at the PEVE Digital Entertainment conference in Paris as reported by Screen Digest, also indicated that the proportion of US PS3 household using the console as a Blu-ray movie player had risen from 53 per cent in September 2007 to 80 per cent in the first two months of 2008.

Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders said that, following a Sony TV ad campaign encouraging the use of PS3 consoles to watch movies, the proportion of PS3 households purchasing Blu-ray discs rose from less than 10 per cent in October 2007 to over 15 per cent in December - suggesting that Sony's advertising had an impact.

Screen Digest senior analyst Helen Davis Jayalath, however, notes that the timing of Warner's research makes it impossible to quantify how much of an effect the Christmas gift-giving season would have had on Blu-ray spending without Sony's promotions.

"Furthermore, the relative lack of strong games titles for the PS3 over this period is also likely to have contributed to the console's use as a BD player," she wrote.

Nonetheless, Jayalath noted that the size of the PS3 installed base means that even a minimal increase in average per household Blu-ray disc purchase rates could substantially impact total hi-def media sales.

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