Total video market revenue climbs 7%

Sales of Blu-ray discs in Germany more than doubled in the first half of 2010, propelling the country’s homevideo industry to record heights.

With overall sales up 10% to 52 million units, total video market revenue in the period, including online figures, climbed 7% to E610 million ($782 million), according to a report released Thursday by the German Assn. of Audiovisual Media (BVV).

Blu-ray sales skyrocketed 101% to $105 million, dramatically boosting total revenue. In terms of units, 5 million Blu-rays sold in the first half of the year — 3 million more than a year ago.

BVV deputy managing director Oliver Trettin said the strong showing confirmed initial forecasts, adding that by year end, Germany’s vid industry will have generated Blu-ray revs of $260 million-$320 million.

While DVD sales climbed 2% to 45.7 million units, revenue dropped 3% to $663 million as the average unit price fell 4% to $14.49.

“Avatar” led Blu-ray and DVD sales, followed by”2012″ and”The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

In a sign that Germany’s rental market is slowing considerably, the number of DVD and Blu-ray sales exceeded rentals for the first time.The rental market saw a 5% decline to 46.3 million transactions in the first six months of the year, resulting in a 6% drop in rental revenue to $142 million. Blu-ray rentals, however, saw a 79% increase to 3.8 million transactions.

Trettin attributed the rental dropoff to “the warm summer and the soccer World Cup, which drew people to public viewing events rather than in the videostores.”

By contrast, online sale and rental business grew dramatically, reaching combined revenue of $26.5 million compared with $7.9 million in the same period last year.

Electronic sell-through accounted for 56.5% of the total pie, with video-on-demand and pay-per-view making up 43.5%.

Leading the rental charts in Germany was Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” followed by “2012″ and “Avatar,” which topped the Blu-ray rental charts.

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