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DVD sales down 5.5% in ’08

Consumers spend $1.3 billion less than 2007

DVD really started to show its age in 2008.

According to the Digital Entertainment Group, DVD sales slumped 9% last year, bringing overall homevideo spending down 5.5% to $22.4 billion. The DVD decline is greater than recent industry forecasts: Late-year tallies by vid analysts showed sales of the older disc format lagging 5% to 7%.

The news was cheerier on the next-gen front: According to DEG, Blu-ray spending came close to year-end forecasts of $750 million. That reps a threefold increase, and was in line with late-year figures (Daily Variety, Jan. 6).

Rental spending was flat at $7.5 billion for the year.

The 5.5% spending drop was the largest ever tallied by the org, which based its calculations on input from studios. Last year, DEG put annual spending at $23.7 billion, a 3.3% drop. According to the org, homevideo spending has topped $22 billion for six consecutive years.

Org said 9.654 million Blu-ray players have been sold through 2008, with three million of those devices sold during the fourth quarter alone.

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