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Blu-ray Disc player sales on the up

But many punters still waiting for further price cuts

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Blu-ray Disc player sales are rising, according to fresh figures from US market watcher NPD. But many people are still either unfamiliar with the format or waiting for prices to drop further.

According to the analyst’s latest point-of-sale sourced data, sales of Blu-ray players shot up a massive 72 per cent in North America during Q1, compared to the same period last year. That amounts to some 400,000 units sold during the first three months of 2009.

Yet despite an NPD online survey of 7000 US consumers discovering that 90 per cent of North Americans are now aware of the Blu-ray format, only six per cent of those questioned said they’d be extremely likely or very likely to buy a player within the next six months.

Cost, as always, was identified as a key issue. The six per cent of potential Blu-ray player buyers said they’d expect to pay roughly $214 (£141/€161) for one, suggesting that many are waiting for prices to drop from the Q1 average of $261 (£173/€197).

Other NPD respondents said they hadn’t bought a Blu-ray player yet because DVD players are still “good enough”, while others admitted that they’re just not interested in the format.

Russ Crupnick, Entertainment Industry Analyst at NPD, hinted that recommendations from friends will drive many Blu-ray player sales. “They [friends] are selling the benefits [of Blu-ray] in a way that is far more effective than simply viewing an advertisement”. ®

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