German video market softens

Boxoffice stable as home entertainment slips

BERLIN -- Germany’s boxoffice is still going strong but the territory’s home entertainment market is softening, with both sell-through and rental figures down in 2008.

DVD sales last year totaled 1.29 billion euros ($1.66 billion), a 3% drop over 2007, even though total unit sales were steady, at just under 105 million.

Discounting continues to bite into profit margins in the sell-though business, with the average price for a DVD in Germany slipping to $15.74 from $16.38 a year earlier.

Rental figures were no better, with total revenues down 10 million euros ($12.8 million) to 264 million euros ($339 million).

The Blu-ray HD format accounted for just a small fraction of those numbers. In sell-through, just 48 million euros ($62 million) were Blu-ray sales and in rental, a mere 2 million of the 107.5 million units rented in Germany last year were of the Blu-ray variety.