HD DVD Player Sales Drop

Port Washington, NY (January 28, 2008)--According to new figures from market researcher The NPD Group, sales of HD DVD players plunged dramatically during the week ending January 12. But NPD says the recent defection by Warner Bros. to the Blu-ray Disc (BD) camp may not be to blame and notes that one bad week doesn't mean the end of the hi-res disc format war.
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Port Washington, NY (January 28, 2008)--According to new figures from market researcher The NPD Group, sales of HD DVD players plunged dramatically during the week ending January 12. But NPD says the recent defection by Warner Bros. to the Blu-ray Disc (BD) camp may not be to blame and notes that one bad week doesn't mean the end of the hi-res disc format war.

NPD attributed the results largely to promotions run by several BD-supporting manufacturers, and said they were not necessarily the result of consumer reaction to the news that Warner Bros., which has supported both formats, will release solely in BD format from May onward.

Not surprisingly, the BD camp disagrees. In an interview with online news site TWICE, Andy Parsons, Blu-ray Disc Association Promotions Committee chairman and Pioneer Electronics USA new product development senior VP, states, "If [running successful promotions] were that easy, don't they think we would have done it a long time ago? It's not like we haven't tried it before..."

According to NPD's retail point of sale data for the week ending January 12, which do not include video game console sales and does not include figures from Wal-Mart, sales of HD DVD players plummeted from a near-equal market share the previous week to a seven percent unit share and four percent dollar share. BD player sales accounted for a 90 percent unit and dollar share. That compares to a 49 percent unit share and 58 percent dollar share for 2007, and 49 percent of unit share and 37 percent of dollar share for HD DVD player sales. Dual-format players account for the remainder.

According to Neilsen SoundScan, the top 10 best-selling hi-res titles for the week ending January 13 were all in BD format.

In September 2007 NPD released a report that more consumers are aware of HD DVD than they are of Blu-ray Disc, but few plan to purchase a player for either. The report suggested the industry should do more to raise consumer awareness and make more hi-res disc titles available.

The NPD Group
www.npd.com