Blu-ray, streaming services put pressure on older format

Consumers keep spending less on DVD as they switch over to Blu-ray, streaming services like Netflix and VOD, with the aging disc format earning 44% less last year than it did in 2009, despite strong sales for Fox’s “Avatar.”

The wholesale value of 415 titles released on DVD in 2010 fell to $4.47 billion from $7.97 billion in ’09, a new report by SNL Kagan reports.

Of those titles, 226 million units were shipped, another 44% less than in 2009, signaling a declining interest in retailers to carry the discs, as consumers build fewer DVD libraries at home.

On average, films shipped 545,000 units and earned $10.8 million in wholesale revenue, off 52% from the average in 2009.

DVD’s demise is still hard to ignore, considering it has generated most of Hollywood’s homevideo sales for the past decade. Digital distribution has yet to make up for the decline in DVD sales.

At the same time, Blu-ray also continues to grow, with the format having generated $2.3 billion in sales last year, a growth of 53%, over 2009, according to the Digital Entertainment Group. Consumers spent another $2.5 billion on digital downloads, DEG said, a gain of 19% over 2009.

SNL Kagan plans to release a separate report on Blu-ray in the near future.

Among the studios, Fox dominated in market share with 15 titles tracked taking in $605.9 million from 30.1 million DVDs shipped. Studio’s “Avatar” topped the sales charts, shipping over 10.3 million units and earning $207.5 million.

In comparison, that was less than the top DVD in 2009, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which sold 11 million copies, and “The Dark Knight,” which moved 12.4 million DVDs in 2008.

Warner Bros. was the No. 2 studio in 2010, with its 24 titles shipping 31.2 million units, earning $605.7 million. Disney rounded out the top three with $601 million from 29.8 million units shipped. Sony came in fourth with $453.3 million, and Universal followed in fifth with $443.5 million.

“Toy Story 3″ was the second-biggest title of the year with $201.8 million from more than 10 million units shipped, followed by Summit’s “Twilight: New Moon” ($174.8 million) and “Twilight: Eclipse” ($160.7 million).

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