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Next Generation Disc Tracking Report

Old 04-06-07, 04:29 PM
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Next Generation Disc Tracking Report

Sony has released to the media a report tracking weekly sales of high-definition packaged media - both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc - from 10/1/06 through the week ending 3/18/07. The report, entitled Next Generation Disc Tracking Report, was prepared with sales figures from Nielsen VideoScan. It's the first such detailed sales data we've really seen, featuring graphical breakdowns by format, title and studio, so we wanted to post the document in its entirety for your consideration (and Sony has given us permission to do so). The document is large (over 1MB) and it's in Adobe PDF format. We've posted it on the server in a zip file. Just click on the link to download it.

You can download the pdf document here:
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents

A few thoughts:
1) Pages 16-19 indicate overall HD DVD and Blu-ray sales are pathetic (some movies selling literally only hundreds of copies)
2) Sony very conveniently releases this after Casino Royale is released and during a stretch in which HD DVD did not release anything new for a few weeks
3) If there was no format war the numbers would probably be better overall, but certainly not good enough to justify all of the hatred between some of the online supporters for both formats.

Last edited by fryinpan1; 04-06-07 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 04-06-07, 04:50 PM
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Woo Hoo, one of only 400+ people that bought the Forbidden Planet Ultimate Edition.

Those sales numbers tell a sad story. My big question is who those numbers leave out. Are Amazon's sales included?

Either way it does look like HD video may be heading down the laserdisc road. That could be bad if they start limiting their releases to the big budget blockbusters.

Most of the films I bought on HD DVD where only bought by 2-3 thousand people. It looks really bad for the classic films. It does look like the older films did much better on HD DVD which again worries me with Blu-ray. You build your format around video game buyers and most of that audience will buy nothing but action films.

By the way, bit ups to every Blu-ray owner for not buying that garbage Fox is releasing. Their sales are beyond pathetic and the overpriced bare bones discs are the reason.

Last edited by darkside; 04-06-07 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 04-06-07, 04:57 PM
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Some of those numbers just make me want to cry. ~2000 copies of Casablanca. That's it?

I bet that Universal wouldn't have predicted that Serenity would sell nearly 3x as many copies as King Kong.

They should start selling some of these as numbered limited editions. Frickin' Scooby Doo can scare up $150 million at the box office, but is struggling to sell 300 copies.
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Old 04-06-07, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
Some of those numbers just make me want to cry. ~2000 copies of Casablanca. That's it?

I bet that Universal wouldn't have predicted that Serenity would sell nearly 3x as many copies as King Kong.

They should start selling some of these as numbered limited editions. Frickin' Scooby Doo can scare up $150 million at the box office, but is struggling to sell 300 copies.
In addition to Casablanca, Adventures of Robin Hood sold over 2,700, Mutiny on the Bounty sold over 600, while Doom sold over 4,300 copies.
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Old 04-06-07, 05:09 PM
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The kind of movies that made me want HD DVD are the ones that are under 3k.

Adventures of Robin Hood
Casablanca
The Searchers
Forbidden Planet
Grand Prix
Casino
Dirty Dozen
The Sting

This depresses me to no end.

BTW, I think the failure of the combo format and the $39.98 MSRP is written pretty clearly in the sales chart.
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Old 04-06-07, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
They should start selling some of these as numbered limited editions. Frickin' Scooby Doo can scare up $150 million at the box office, but is struggling to sell 300 copies.
The best hope for the HD DVD is to try and become the new laserdisc. Turn over all HD DVD releases to Criterion regardless of the studio. Let them package them and put a number on each spine. Then watch those things start to sell.

That will never happen, but I really think they need a strategy change of some kind.
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Old 04-06-07, 05:33 PM
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Something's up with those numbers, They only list 28K for Casino Royale. That's about 1/4 of what was said to be sold. if all the other numbers are off by a similar percentage, what good is the report?

Also, does this even take into consideration Amazon sales? I've always gotten the impression Videoscan results come from items actually being scanned at retail. Not sure how Amazon figures into that.

And finally, who bought the one copy of Commando since it isn't even out yet?

Last edited by bunkaroo; 04-06-07 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 04-06-07, 05:45 PM
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Something's up with those numbers, They only list 28K for Casino Royale. That's about 1/4 of what was said to be sold.
Why does everyone keep saying this? I thought Sony said they shipped 100,000 units, not sold 100,000.
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Old 04-06-07, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bunkaroo
Something's up with those numbers, They only list 28K for Casino Royale. That's about 1/4 of what was said to be sold. if all the other numbers are off by a similar percentage, what good is the report?

Also, does this even take into consideration Amazon sales? I've always gotten the impression Videoscan results come from items actually being scanned at retail. Not sure how Amazon figures into that.

And finally, who bought the one copy of Commando since it isn't even out yet?

The press release issued by Sony stated that 100,000 copies of "Casino Royale" were shipped to stores -- not actual units sold to customers. Those are totally different things.

It reminds me of when "Forrest Gump" came out on DVD. I think I bought it in its first week at Best Buy when they had, like, one whole rack devoted to the title. It stayed that way for a while, too. They eventually managed to get rid of them, though -- either by sending them back, or by sneaking them into customers' bags when they weren't looking.

Anyhow, that to me was a prime example of the difference between the number of units shipped and the number of units sold.

Awfully nice of Sony to give permission to post these numbers. Would anyone care to guess if they bothered to check in with the other studios beforehand?
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Old 04-06-07, 06:00 PM
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I'm sure King Kong being packed in with the 360 add-on hurt its actual sales total. Those numbers, as others have said, look really weak on paper. I doubt any executives are jumping up and down over them. Aren't HD media sales off to a little bit of a faster start than during dvd's debut? Unfortunately, not only are BD and HD DVD battling each other for victory, they also have to go up against the most popular home video format ever created. Even if there was one format from the start, I'm wondering how much better the numbers would be? DVD is just way too popular and not enough people care about the difference in audio/video quality.
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Old 04-06-07, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bunkaroo
Something's up with those numbers, They only list 28K for Casino Royale. That's about 1/4 of what was said to be sold. if all the other numbers are off by a similar percentage, what good is the report?
The 28,000 sold for Casino Royale were only five days worth of sales since the report ends on 3/18. The 100,000 press release came out on 3/27.
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Old 04-06-07, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
Why does everyone keep saying this? I thought Sony said they shipped 100,000 units, not sold 100,000.
I guess I misread the Sony press release then. By shipping 100K units to stores, they've essentially "sold" 100K units, yes? Maybe it's a terminology thing.

I still think those numbers are too low. I can't believe only a few hundred people bought the Discovery Atlas discs for instance.
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Old 04-06-07, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bunkaroo
I guess I misread the Sony press release then. By shipping 100K units to stores, they've essentially "sold" 100K units, yes?
Retailers can return unsold stock back if they wish. So, no, the 100k does not represent sales at all. Theoretically, sales could stop at 30k and the additional 70k would be returned to Sony as unsold.

(Not that I see that happening, but there have definitely been situations where studios press and ship way too many copies of a title. Shrek 2 leaps to mind as being a title where the studio radically misjudged demand at retail.)
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Old 04-06-07, 08:34 PM
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Top 25 selling titles from 2006 through the week ending 3/18/07:


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Old 04-06-07, 08:40 PM
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Oh, I thought this thread was about some sort of Star Trek sales report.
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Old 04-06-07, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
Woo Hoo, one of only 400+ people that bought the Forbidden Planet Ultimate Edition.
Well, there's 2 of us here.
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Old 04-06-07, 11:43 PM
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Also, does this even take into consideration Amazon sales? I've always gotten the impression Videoscan results come from items actually being scanned at retail. Not sure how Amazon figures into that.
We can be generous and say that those sales are not included. Let's face it though, going way out on a limb and doubling the sales figures to account for online still paints a miserable picture.
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Old 04-07-07, 12:01 AM
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So Sony sacrificed console market share for these sales numbers, huh?

It was obvious from the start that it was a dumb strategy. Too bad for Sony they didn't realize it. Hope they enjoy their niche market.
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Old 04-07-07, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by fryinpan1
Top 25 selling titles from 2006 through the week ending 3/18/07:

do you have the numbers for sd-dvd version of any of those movies for comparison?
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Old 04-07-07, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
Well, there's 2 of us here.
Number 3 reporting for duty ...
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Old 04-07-07, 06:40 AM
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In defense of the low output, I'd be curious to see an updated list of numbers when players are as cheap as dvd players.
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Old 04-07-07, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mdnitoil
We can be generous and say that those sales are not included. Let's face it though, going way out on a limb and doubling the sales figures to account for online still paints a miserable picture.
Most online sites don't release sales numbers. Most early adopters are internet-saavy people who shop online and not B&M. I would say the above report probably only represents 1/3rd of hi-def sales.

I'd like to see a comparison report for B&M sales of DVDs during the same time frame during its inception.

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Old 04-07-07, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Most online sites don't release sales numbers. Most early adopters are internet-saavy people who shop online and not B&M. I would say the above report probably only represents 1/3rd of hi-def sales.

I'd like to see a comparison report for B&M sales of DVDs during the same time frame during its inception.
Well, I found this old article written in '98 summarizing how DVD is outpacing the VCR. They cite 500,000 players sold and over 1700 titles released in the first year. No actual figures on disk sales. The closest thing to a number is the estimate of 28 software titles per machine being sold.

old DVD adoption article

Of course, if these numbers are even close to being accurate, there is no comparison.

Last edited by mdnitoil; 04-07-07 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 04-07-07, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by darkside
Those sales numbers tell a sad story. My big question is who those numbers leave out. Are Amazon's sales included?
Nielsen doesn't track Wal-Mart, which is problematic for DVD sales statistics because they're a huge player in that market. However, I doubt Wal-Mart makes much of a difference in High-Def sales.
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Old 04-07-07, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
However, I doubt Wal-Mart makes much of a difference in High-Def sales.
and why is that?
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