NPD Says Intent-to-Buy Blu-ray Grows
We see that Video Business is reporting that consumers are expressing more desire to purchase Blu-ray Disc players following Warner Bros. Entertainment’s swing to back Blu-ray exclusively, according to the NPD Group.
While there is weak overall demand for both BD and HD DVD set-tops, NPD’s surveys do show diverging intent for BD and HD DVD, with the percentage of consumers intending to buy a BD player increasing to mid January. On the other side, intent to buy HD is down from the period around Thanksgiving.
Interestingly, HD DVD intent to buy continues to top BD, which has been the case since NPD started reporting high-def hardware results in October.
Russ Crupnick, VP and senior entertainment analyst at NPD, believes the abundance of products labeled high-definition, such as HDTVs, HD camcorders, etc., is likely working to falsely prop up some interest for the similarly sounding HD DVD. However, Toshiba’s recent price chops on players also might have helped the hardware stay on consumers’ radars at the same time that studio support for HD DVD has fallen. I think that the trend is more important than the absolute level, said Crupnick.
Consumer electronics retail buyer David Workman notes that although HD DVD set-tops continue to sell for retailers in 2008, BD stand-alones have racked up comparably more sales gains. I think we have seen an uptick in the sale of BD players, said Workman, executive director of the PRO Group. There clearly was a momentum shift that accompanied the Warner announcement.