UK media sector market research firm Understanding and Solutions predicts that UK consumers will be quick to adopt HD packaged media, and that Blu-ray will hold the commercial advantage over HD DVD.
Managing director Jim Bottoms says “HD will succeed in Europe reasonably quickly. The consumer is already being sold the benefits by broadcasters and display manufacturers and it’s very important that the packaged media industry supports that drive in order to be a part of the HD revolution.”
Bottoms says BD’s leadership will come from more brands supporting the system in the marketplace and wider studio support. Bottoms also describes Sony’s new generation games console as absolutely key to the introduction of Blu-ray. “It is probably more key than who is first to market,” he commented. “If HD DVD had a two-year window that would be one thing but at the moment both formats are coming to market at a fairly gradual pace.”
By 2010 in Western Europe, Understanding and Solutions predicts that there will be 115 million HD screens in use but only 17 million households will have access to HDTV. Consequently, it argues, they will need HD content and will be keen to buy packaged media. By 2010, the firm forecasts annual software sales of 215 million units.
By 2010 the company predicts market penetration as follows:
HD players/recorders (BD + HD-DVD) -24 million (14 percent)
PC Drives – 7 million (4 percent)
Xbox 360 – 2 million (2 percent)
PlayStation 3 – 28 million (16 percent)
Understanding and Solutions is staging a two-day conference in Barcelona on 6-7 November 2006. Presenters will include entertainment companies, broadcasters, market researchers, authoring experts, retailers and equipment manufacturers For more information, contact andy(dot)watson(at)uands(dot)com.