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German video market rises 4%

Record number of units sold in first six months

BERLIN — The German homevid biz enjoyed record sales in the first six months of the year, with revenue up 4% at Euros 572 million ($822.3 million).

Some 47 million units were sold, more than ever before in the period, and 2.3 million more than in the first six months of last year, according to figures released by Germany’s association of audiovisual media, BVV.

While DVDs still accounted for most of the sales, with $762 million, Blu-ray discs have seen a sharp increase in Germany’s video market. With $59 million, Blu-ray sales more than tripled from the first half of 2008, which saw the format’s revenue reach $18.7 million. Sell- through Blu-ray units quadrupled, climbing to 2 million from 500,000 in the same period last year.

Sony’s “Quantum of Solace” was the biggest selling title in both formats, while Ridley Scott’s CIA thriller “Body of Lies” from Warners was the hottest rental title.

The Teutonic rental market remained relatively unchanged with 48.7 million transactions compared with 48.8 million last year. Rental revenue reached $170 million, just below last year’s $171 million.

Blu-ray is also enjoying increasing popularity in the rental market, with transactions going from 400,000 in the first half of 2008 to 2.1 million in the same period this year.

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