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Day 4 - IFA International

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  • September
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MARKET & TECHNOLOGY

MARKET & TECHNOLOGY TRENDS RETAiL PRiCES Of BLu-RAY TiTLES iNSTRuMENTAL iN SuCCESS Of fORMAT fuTuRESOuRCE REvEALS 40% PRiCE DROP iN PAST Six MONTHS In 2009, Blu-ray title prices have declined rapidly and the pricing gap is narrowing, according to Futuresource Consulting’s price tracking service. The service shows that in February the average Bluray price for new release movies in the UK was £27.29. By the beginning of August this had dropped to £16.74 – a sizeable decline of 40%. Catalogue pricing has also fallen, but not by such a significant amount. From an average price of £16.87 in February, this dropped to £14.25 in August; representing a decline of 15%. When looking at the average catalogue price across the three largest e-tailers, (Amazon, Play and HMV), the price drop is far more significant, with the average catalogue price hitting £11.22. Back in Q4 2008, both in the USA and the UK the premium for purchasing a new release title on Bluray compared to DVD was between 30% and 80%. However, for catalogue BD titles this premium was considerably higher, and in some instances was as much as 300%. Although it has never been disputed that consumers will pay more for Blu-ray, the premium in the market in 2008 was clearly not sustainable. “Pricing is becoming an increasing area of focus for Blu-ray,” says Alison Casey, Head of Global Content at Futuresource Consulting. “Although a number of new BD releases are beginning to achieve healthy sales volumes, catalogue titles continue to disappoint. The retail price of Blu-ray titles, particularly when compared to DVD, is a key factor in holding back sales. Research shows that Blu-ray player owners are making a value judgement call when deciding whether or not to pay the Blu-ray premium; often continuing to buy some titles in standard definition.” “The focus on Q4 this year is intense and many in the UK home video industry believe it will be the most challenging yet,” says Casey”. “In judging the success of this critical sales period, it will not be just about units shipped, it will also be about the price the consumer pays. As a result, the weekly tracking of DVD and Blu-ray prices is likely to become even more of a focus for the industry as we move into the run up to Christmas.” Average Price For New Release Movies On Blu-ray Declines By 40% Between February and August 2009 (Source: Futuresource Weekly Online BD & DVD Price Tracker) Hall X.X / Stand XXX 12 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday, 7 th September 2009

MARKET & TECHNOLOGY TRENDS ON A BLU STREAK 2009 SHAPES UP TO BE A BANNER YEAR FOR BLU-RAY By Gary Smith Blu-ray Disc Association's Niels Liebbrandt: "The Blu-ray market continues to go from strength to strength" It may have been a difficult year for the wider CE industry, but Bluray continues its market ascent, as consumers see the undeniable benefits of the format on their flatscreen TVs. For Niels Liebbrandt, Chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) European Promotion Committee and Senior Manager of Technology Marketing at Sony, 2009 has been an exciting year. "Despite the difficult economic conditions, the Blu-ray market is continuing to grow," he said. "Consumers are increasingly aware of HD technology and there is a growing demand for products and services. It's no wonder that Blu-ray is once again a hot topic in Berlin." Although 47% of European households now own an HD-compatible flatscreen television, only 6% are receiving HD broadcasts. Blu-ray can provide these households with unrivalled HD picture and audio quality, unlocking the true potential of their televisions. "More and more film fans are discovering the rich detail and vivid colours delivered by HD formats," Leibbrandt said. At IFA, the BDA's members are presenting a wide range of new Blu-ray disc players, from entry level up to high-end models. With the average price of Blu-ray discs also falling, investing in a player has never been so attractive. "A wider range of players and the constantly growing availability of BD titles in all genres is providing a huge boost to the Blu-ray market," Leibbrandt added. "In 2009, we expect there to be 31 million Blu-ray discs sold in Europe, which is three times as many as last year. In addition, with over 20% of European homes expected to be BD-enabled by the end of 2011, the Blu-ray market continues to go from strength to strength." Unsurprisingly, the BDA chief is feeling positive: "In Japan, which has enjoyed HD broadcasts across many TV channels for some years now, close to 70% of the already large Bluray market comprises models that also record. That's a sign of the future for Europe and the US." He added: "We are now starting to see DVD players being replaced by Bluray players, along with a large and growing presence of HDenabled screens in homes and a downward price curve that greatly resembles what happened when the DVD market started to really catch fire. But perhaps the most exciting development is that we have already established the guidelines for 3D Blu-ray. There will be no compromise on quality. We will have finalised the specifications by the end of the year and I expect the first discs to appear in 2010." A key player in terms of Blu-ray innovation is Philips, which unveiled a range of BD players at its IFA press conference, including a new SoundBar model and several full hometheatre systems. The Philips SoundBar with Ambisound is aimed at design-conscious consumers looking for superior sound and picture. It also incorporates a complete home-theatre system, with integrated HD Blu-ray disc playback for sharp images in Full-HD 1080p and an optional dock for iPod. The Philips' range of hometheatre systems offers a great listening experience combined with HD Blu-ray disc playback. The HTS7540 full home-cinema system is aimed at consumers with more space. It includes a 5.1 system, which delivers HD pictures and surround sound in a stylish design. With its four floor-standing pillars, magnetically shielded centre speaker and 8-inchhigh subwoofer, the system is designed to deliver bestin-class audio quality for all kinds of content. The news this week that Toshiba — the company that led the charge against Sony's BD with its HD DVD format — has introduced its first Blu-ray disc player this week, gives the format the final seal of approval. Toshiba's BDX2000 provides 1080p digital and supports Blu-ray Disc Profile 2.0, which Sony calls BD-Live, to take advantage of interactive features through an ethernet connection. It offers a variety of downloadable content with Blu-ray DVDs, including bonus scenes, shorts, trailers, subtitles and interactive movie-based games. The Toshiba player features a polished-front panel that drops down to reveal the player's primary functions. The device can be connected to digital TVs using an HDMI connector. Connecting to Toshiba's Regza LCD TV enables the user to control both devices from a single remote control. IFA International • Monday, 7 th September 2009 www.ifa-international.org 13

IFA International