Worldwide pre-recorded Blu-ray video disc production is on track to exceed 400 million units in 2010, an increase of nearly 60% compared with 2009, according to a new research report from Futuresource Consulting. When factoring in PS3 titles, overall production volumes are somewhat higher. “Moving forward we expect to see continued expansion in BD video production volumes, with our forecasts indicating that annual global output will reach two billion discs by 2014,” said Michael Boreham, senior consultant, Disc Manufacturing & Storage Media at Futuresource Consulting.
The Blu-ray replication industry has seen capacity utilization improve markedly during 2010. “As a result of this output expansion, BD capacity utilization will hit nearly 80% in the US during Q4 of this year and 75% in Europe,” said Boreham. “This is about as high as it can comfortably get, and given the continued market expansion expected over the next few years, which is being driven by growing player ownership and falling disc prices, the industry will need to invest further in 2011 to prevent peak quarter disc shortages.
“Production quantities are boosted by the continued pipeline fill and infrastructure requirements. Studios remain committed to maintaining inventory levels to ensure demand can be met in a growing market and retailers are keen to maintain a good level of copy depth in store, to strongly promote BD and eliminate out-of-stocks and lost sales.”
Fiona Hoy, a market analyst at Futuresource Consulting, added, “Bundling discs with hardware is also a factor, and the launch of 3D BD titles has added extra importance to this. As 3D is ideally suited to the BD delivery platform, this is clearly a long-term opportunity for the industry to further sustain consumer interest in packaged entertainment media. From 2012 we’re going to see very strong demand for 3D content, which will fuel additional growth. A number of bundled exclusives are already boosting demand from this sector, such as Avatar with Panasonic displays or How To Train Your Dragon with Samsung displays.”