According to DEG Europe and based on GfK tracking, the volume of next generation DVDs being sold in Europeincreased 85 fold between 2006 and 2007 and is expected to rise exponentially into 2008. Although consumers are continuing to purchase standard definition DVDs, the growth curve is falling off with a marginal increase in volume sales of just 4.2%. In terms of whos buying the most DVDs, tech savvy Brits are leading the HD revolution with 34% of total next generation DVD sales coming out of the UK.
Yves Caillaud, senior vice president international, Warner Home Video, speaking for and on behalf of DEG Europe, said: "In 2007, we saw over 2.5 million units of high definition DVDs sold within Europe. To put this in context, when compared to the transfer from VHS to DVD in 1998, only 1,480,000 DVDs were sold in the first year. This clearly demonstrates the rapid consumer adoption of HD technologies."
Hardware sales of next generation DVD players also look encouraging. According to GfK tracking, 11,100 units were sold in January 2007 which soared to 124,000 by December 2007, showing a sharp increase towards the end of the year. But standard definition (SD) players are not going away and are still the most popular choice in the market with over 33 million more units being sold in the UK compared to UK sales of next generation players.
Yves continued: "The increase in sales of HD players shows a strong move in the right direction. Factors that might be holding consumers back from full adoption include confusion over the formats available, a lack of education and understanding of the benefits of next generation technologies and the fact that SD players are the cheapest they have ever been, averaging at just £37 a player."
"December 2007 was by far the strongest trading month of the year for next generation DVDs with 30% of total sales taking place in this month. With 2007 figures in mind and based on a survey looking into predictions for 2008, DEG Europe forecasts strong growth in this sector throughout 2008 and will continue to be the driving force towards consumer adoption of next generation technologies."