German Video Market Drops 2 Percent in First Half

5:36 AM PST 08/30/2012 by Scott Roxborough
Andrew Cooper/SMPSP/Summit Entertainment LLC

Growth in Blu-ray and digital sales can’t compensate for a 10 percent drop in DVD sales.

BERLIN – Germany’s resilient home entertainment market is starting to show the strain. DVD sales fell 10 percent in the first half of 2012, a plunge only partially compensated for by increasing revenue from Blu-ray and online sales, which were up 29 percent and 25 percent respectively.

According to official figures released Thursday, total turnover for Germany’s sell-through business, including electronic sell-through, was down 2 percent to $725 million (€577 million). Total unit sales were also down, with 50.4 million titles sold, a 4 percent drop over the same period last year.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, which independent Concorde Film released here, was the top selling title in Germany in the first half, beating out two Warner Bros. Germany titles: the Til Schweiger comedy Kokowaah and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Things were brighter on the German rental market, which actual increased turnover slightly to $154 million (€123 million) for the first half, helped by the booming VOD business, which saw revenue soar 56 percent to $29 million (€23 million) in the first six months of the year.

Online rentals are rapidly stealing market share from traditional video stores. German video shops accounted for 68 percent of rental turnover in the first half of 2012, down from 77 percent a year earlier. VOD rentals, in contrast, accounted for 28 percent of revenue, a 10 percent jump. A further 11 percent of total rental turnover came from direct-mail services such as Amazon’s LoveFilm, up from 8 percent in the first half of 2011.

The top rental titles in Germany in the first half were Paramount’s Cowboys & Aliens, The Hangover, Part II from Warner Bros. and The Three Musketeers from Highlight Communication.

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