'Harry Potter' And Blu-Ray Boom Keeps German Video Market Steady

2:45 AM PST 11/16/2011 by Scott Roxborough

Third quarter revenue tops $1.2 billion as Blu-ray sales jump 38%.

COLOGNE, Germany – Germany’s home video market held steady in the third quarter with the continuing Blu-ray boom compensating for declining sales of traditional DVDs.

Q3 sales topped $1.2 billion (€886 million), down slightly on last year’s figures. But unit sales were up 3 percent to 78.6 million discs sold. The discrepancy is due to heavy discounting, particularly among German big box retailers and discount stores, which drove the average cost of a DVD down 3 percent to $15.3 (€11.3).

Sell-through of traditional DVDs continues to shrivel, with Q3 revenues falling some $72 million to $952 million (€701 million) in Q3. Increasing Blu-ray sales, which jumped 38 percent to $220 million (€162 million) over the same period, has taken up most of the slack. Because of the higher average price for Blu-ray discs, nearly a fifth of sell-through revenues (18.3 percent) came from the HD medium. Online digital sales jumped $8 million to $30 million (€22 million), significant growth but not yet significant volume compared with either DVD or Blu-ray.

Where online is making a difference is in the German rental market. Rental revenue held its own, with sales of $257 million (€189 million) for the quarter, thanks to Internet sales, which now account for 12.7 percent of the market. Blu-ray rentals were also stronger, up $12 million to $37 million (€27 million).

Warner Bros. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 lead the German sell-through charts for Q3 while the rental crown went to Sony Pictures’ Adam Sandler/Kevin James comedy Grown Ups.

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