While Blu-ray still has a long ways to go before it overtakes the DVD, a new report issued by The NPD Group shows that the format is moving further into the mainstream. According to NPD's latest point-of-sale tracking data, first quarter sales of stand-alone Blu-ray players in the U.S. grew to more than 400,000 units, an increase of 72 percent over Q1 2008. Consumer awareness also reached 90 percent with 6 percent of those surveyed stating that they would be “extremely or very likely” to buy a Blu-ray player in the next six months.
According to the latest point-of-sale (POS) tracking data from The NPD Group, a leading market research company, Blu-ray Disc (BD) video technology is moving further into the mainstream. First quarter (Q1) sales of stand-alone Blu-ray players in the U.S. grew to more than 400,000 units, an increase of 72 percent over Q1 2008. Dollar sales increased 14 percent, to reach $107.2 million according to NPD’s retail tracking service.
"The rising penetration of high-definition televisions and lower Blu-ray player prices are broadening the format’s market opportunity," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD. "Even as options expand for accessing movies digitally, Blu-ray is carrying forward the widespread appeal of DVD into the high-definition marketplace."
NPD’s “Blu-ray Report” March 2009 update revealed that overall consumer awareness of the BD format in the United States has reached 90 percent awareness in the past six months. Purchase intent for Blu-ray set-top boxes also rose slightly in NPD’s most recent tracking surveys, with 6 percent of respondents saying they would be “extremely or very likely” to buy in the next six months, compared with 5 percent who responded similarly in the August report. Despite these high awareness levels, more than half of adults (58 percent) continue to report that they were still “not very familiar” with BD.