Discounting Gave HD DVD 62% of Next-Gen Holiday Sales

Posted by Dave Cowl on December 10, 2007 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD

a2.thumbnail.jpgVideo Business is reporting that the discounted players for Black Friday gave HD DVD 62% of the market share. According to DisplaySearch, some 57,000 total next generation players were sold and that Blu-ray had 37% of the sales. Due to the higher average price of the Blu-ray players, Blu-ray actually captured 52% of the revenue, leaving 47% for HD DVD.

The report that Blu-ray sales rose by 189% and HD DVD by an incredible 454%, indicates that in the the week prior, Blu-ray must have held over 60% of the market share. DisplaySearch also estimates that PS3 sales were almost three times the total HD DVD and Blu-ray player total combined (160,000 to 170,000 units).

The most interesting aspect of this report to me is that, given the extreme discounts on the HD DVD players, they only managed 62% market share. I would have expected a much greater impact. Perhaps, given these numbers, the continued failure to impact the software sales side for HD DVD is not so surprising?

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22 Responses to “Discounting Gave HD DVD 62% of Next-Gen Holiday Sales”

  1. James Segars on December 10th, 2007 8:35 am

    I think 62% for the weekend is pretty damn good, especially when you consider that there weren’t any jaw dropping sale promotions for HD DVD.  I’m hoping that for the consumer’s sake, we see some solid hardware promotions on both sides of the war before the holidays are over.  

  2. Kris on December 10th, 2007 9:05 am

    My oh my, what have we here?? A Pro-HD DVD article written by Dave Cowl? I’m stunned, had to take a double take, then a triple take.. nice work Dave, knew ya had it in ya!

  3. Dave Cowl on December 10th, 2007 12:23 pm

    The week ending Nov 24 includes Black Friday. I think there was at least one or two promotions going on that week for HD DVD hardware? @Kris – go HD DVD! :D

  4. Devils Advocate on December 10th, 2007 1:24 pm

    57,000 is pretty crappy if you ask me.  Im really hoping that these promotions that Best Buy is doing will help get more standalone players onto the market. The deals are pretty awesome if you ask me:$300 Samsung and Sony bluray playerFree 1.1 Panasonic player with purchase of Panasonic HDTV.Free PS3 with Bravia LCD.Another Sony BOGO, an excellent way for those new buyers to get a cheap taste of good movies.  As for HD-DVD promotions: I dont know of any and I dont care either.  Ill let James and Tyler add to this ;-)   I also think it was very clever to do this on Harry Potter week. :-D     

  5. Dave Cowl on December 10th, 2007 1:47 pm

    I think it is more of a Bourne Ultimatum week thing, but Potter is certainly worth pushing for also. When I was in Japan they had this thing running endlessly in the BD/HD DVD section about ‘Harry Po-tah-to’ – it was hilarious to me at least :D With respect to the 57k (and 62%) thing, it puts HD DVD sales that week around 36k, which is hugely short of the 90k number that was tossed around liberally shortly after the Black Friday event. So it seems that some exaggeration might have snuck in there! 

  6. Aaron on December 10th, 2007 2:51 pm

    "The most interesting aspect of this report to me is that, given the
    extreme discounts on the HD DVD players, they only managed 62% market
    share. I would have expected a much greater impact. Perhaps, given
    these numbers, the continued failure to impact the software sales side
    for HD DVD is not so surprising?" That’s 62% of the standalone market. Blu-ray happens to also be supplemented by the PS3 (which is actually accountable for 75% of its sales).And blu-ray software sales have been artificially inflated of late thanks to its numerous buy-one-get-one-free sales. without those, I imagine software sales would be much closer. 

  7. Aaron on December 10th, 2007 2:56 pm

    "With respect to the 57k (and 62%) thing, it puts HD DVD sales that week
    around 36k, which is hugely short of the 90k number that was tossed
    around liberally shortly after the Black Friday event. So it seems that
    some exaggeration might have snuck in there!" Your bias is showing. The 90,000 was from the big sale that happened before Black Friday. 

  8. Dave Cowl on December 10th, 2007 3:34 pm

    I thought the big sale was Black Friday, though I am happy to be corrected. The article indicates that this week of 36000 units was in increase of 454% over the previous week – so when was this big sale exactly if it was not the week of Black Friday, or the week preceding it?

  9. Andy Butterfield on December 10th, 2007 3:38 pm

    What is not in this article … but is in the original … is the real message: that at a time when millions has been spent on promoting "next generation players", only 9% of disk players purchased are either HD DVD or Blu-Ray (or put differently 91% of disk players are DVD players). This is in line with disk sales.
    The clear message is what many knowledgable consumers … but few media "hypers" … have been saying for some time: HD DVD and Blu-ray are fated for niche status.
    The facts are that the majority of consumers are not buying into HD (for a whole host of very obvious reasons I won’t go into here) and the prospects for this to change are remote. Rather reminiscent of SACD or DVD-A  in the music realm don’t you think? And the same outlook is likely .. a slow decline in CD (read DVD) sales and a gradual switch to MP3 (read download/VOD low-HD (ca 720p) video).

  10. Dave Cowl on December 10th, 2007 3:46 pm

    The download for HD media is much more problematic than it is for MP3 – though of course bandwidths will change – but the difference between 50GB for a full featured HD release and some MB for an MP3 song on iTunes is a huge leap. I hope that downloads never become the way of things for movies. I also find all the comparison to DVD kinda tiresome since nothing grows as fast as people seem to be expecting. Even DVD took quite some time to catch on. One similarity with this to SACD/DVD-A is the split format which certainly doesn’t help early adoption. But things change – as the cost of discs and players reduce we will eventually see one or both take over from DVD. Just don’t hold your breath… BTW. I chose to not highlight the DVD side of the article since it is not relevant to the purpose of the site. 

  11. Dave Cowl on December 10th, 2007 4:18 pm

    I stand corrected – the Walmart sale was earlier in November. Sorry folks!

  12. Dave Cowl on December 10th, 2007 4:37 pm

    For reference – it looks like the HD DVD deals were $170-$200 for the A3, the BD deals were $377-$400 with other incentives for Samsung/Sony/PS3. This gels pretty well with the ’2x’ cited in the article. 

  13. Devils Advocate on December 10th, 2007 5:37 pm

    Aaron,you need to realize that HD-DVD camp is also giving away movies, too Every HD-DVD player had 10 free movies with it (5 mail-in, 2 in box and 3 off the shelf, which ARE counted in Nielsen)    

  14. Aaron on December 10th, 2007 6:55 pm

    The discs are given away with the player. So one has to invest in HD DVD to get the free discs.The BDA does BOGOs for the explicit purpose of temporarily inflating discs sales in the wake of some impending HD DVD "event" (the release of Transformers, Black Friday sale, The Bourne Ultimatum) for the purpose of using the disingenuous PR stating how much they’re "dominating". Not quite the same thing. 

  15. Dave Cowl on December 10th, 2007 7:25 pm

    There is nothing stopping either side from using the same kinds of promotions. We are certainly seeing hardware promotions beginning to roll out on the BD side. To be honest I am surprised that HD DVD has opted to not discount the software much for promotion – especially since they have been telling us all along how much cheaper and easier the HD DVD discs are to make. How about passing this on to the customer..!? If even for a short time.

  16. Devils Advocate on December 11th, 2007 1:24 am

    Aaron, it IS the same thing.  They are using free disc offers to make their numbers look better.  Its NO different than a BOGO from bluray.  Its sole purpose is to put more movies in the hands of customers and also make their numbers look better for PR purposes.  As Dave, points out there is no reason that the HD-DVD camp cant do their own bogo offers if they consider this tactic "unfair"  No reason at all.

  17. James Segars on December 11th, 2007 8:44 am

    @ DA – They have stated many, many times that the free disc offers, aside from the retailers POP HD DVD toss-ins (which Blu-ray does too, Open Season, anyone?) DO NOT COUNT in the Nielsen figures.  If this were the case, you would see the Bourne Identity up in the top of the Nielsen figures every week, along with 300 because these "in-box" freebies are included with every new player.  As for the perfect offer, that can’t possibly count in the weekly sales figures because the consumer has a number of weeks/months to mail in for the offer to select their 5 movies of choice, which obviously can’t be accounted for in the Nielsen figures.  It’s not as if they’re sitting there going "Well I suppose we’ll just add 5 random movies to our data for every HD DVD player sold this week?"  And as for HD DVD not playing the BDA’s dirty game, they are playing smart, and not catering immediately to their tactic.  Obviously, a BOGO would be desired by consumers, but when it happens, it will be for a good reason, perhaps around the holidays, as opposed to countering a big Blu-ray release.  It’s my belief that the BDA is doing everything in their power to keep the weekly sales figures out of HD DVD’s reach, so that once 2007 comes to a close that they can say they’ve outsold HD DVD every week of 2007, in the hopes that this will entice studios to drop HD DVD.  However, assuming this is their goal, this plan is flawed because these studios who support them now are being shafted royally.  They’re hardly turning a profit every week on the software sales because DVD is still commanding the market, and to top it all off the BDA is giving every other disc away.  Check out these links here, and here to see how the Blu-ray BOGO/POP promotions differ from HD DVD.  

  18. Devils Advocate on December 11th, 2007 9:24 am

    James,You have not been paying attention to what I have been writing.  Toshiba is giving away 10 free movies.  5 mail in, which arent counted, 2 in box which arent counted.  But the other 3 ARE counted because they are scanned at checkout.  In short:3 out of 10 free movies ARE counting in the Nielsens.  This is NO different than the BDA offering a BOGO to "inflate" their numbers.  

  19. James Segars on December 11th, 2007 9:56 am

    Ahhh, I see.  But that is still a bit different, because it is attached to the sale of the hardware.  It’s great for new owners, but leaves little incentive for current owners like myself to buy a mass amount of HD DVD’s every week because we aren’t having the same disc offers.  As of late, Amazon finally offered a "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" offer, but it’s not nearly as prevalent as the BOGO Blu-ray offers that seem to drop every week since the release of Transformers.  Also, I’m not sure if those discs are scanned.  If not they aren’t counted as a POP item, and they wouldn’t go towards the weekly sales figures.  Doesn’t Blu-ray have a similar POP promotion with their Blu-ray standalone players?

  20. Aaron on December 11th, 2007 3:45 pm

    It seems the HD DVD Group knew that the BDA would do another BOGO during Bourne week and countered with one of their own. Very smart move. I wonder what the BDA will do if their disc-sales advantage is shrunk and/or negated… 

  21. Jeff on December 19th, 2007 2:25 am

    I realize you never claimed to be neutral, but the Blu-ray bias on this site is really disappointing. Why present objective data only to spin it and present it subjectively?

  22. Tyler Pruitt on December 19th, 2007 4:30 am


    I would disagree with you totally, Each of our authors has their own slant on the format war. Our site tries to let users see when one of us is expressing an opinion, as opposed to just spinning facts and reporting them as unbiased news.

    The reason I brought Dave on in the first place is because I didn’t want this site to be too slanted towards HD DVD.

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