Business declines for fifth consecutive year

Shipments of video software in Japan, including DVDs, fell 5% last year, the fifth year straight that a drop has been recorded.

Shipments declined to an estimated $2.93 billion, according to figures compiled by the Japan Video Software Assn. This is less than one-third of the peak of nearly $10 billion in 2004.

In the January-November period, DVD shipments, which accounted for about 90% of the total, fell 11%. Blu-ray shipments nearly doubled to $217 million, but this gain was not enough to offset big losses in other categories.

The downward slide is blamed on the boom in free Internet entertainment options, the lack of blockbuster titles and the recessionary tightening of consumer purse strings.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more