Market research company Futuresource today released its Blu-ray disc market outlook for 2009, and projected sales to exceed 100 million units as players come down in price. This would represent another in a series of vast leaps in market size.
In the US in 2008, Blu-ray disc sales grew 320% to a total of 24 million units. Sales of 100 million would represent a 416% growth.
Worldwide production of Blu-ray Discs, however, was in excess of 200 million last year, and only 36 million sold. Futuresource Senior Consultant Michael Boreham says this overproduction is not a miscalculation in demand, but rather the act of "filling the pipeline," or pushing out product in anticipation of its future demand.
"There were concerns over how well the manufacturers would cope with the demands placed on them last year," said Boreham, "But as a result of good planning and excellent cooperation there were no problems in the busy fourth quarter. It's going to be interesting to see what happens this year, as we're not seeing the same level of investment in manufacturing equipment that we saw in the early days of DVD."
At the close of 2008, studio heads actually scaled back their projections in response to the worsening economic climate. Where they had originally anticipated a billion dollar year, a 3%-4% decline in consumer spending was taken into consideration and projections were adjusted to the vicinity of $750 million, where it finished the year.
Betanews is awaiting reply from Futuresource about the impact of competing formats such as DVD (which netted $26 billion last year), streaming, and direct download on the firm's projections for this year.