High-def has notched up another milestone, with combined Blu-ray and HD DVD disc sales overtaking VHS during the first half of 2007.
That's according to a new research report from Video Business, which found that during the first six months of the year, consumers bought more Blu-ray and HD DVD discs than half inch videotapes for the first time in history.
Ironically, the good news for high-def comes amid a bit of a sales slump for home entertainment -- specifically DVD -- with a weak Q1 and Q2 slate of both new releases and catalog titles resulting in a slump of over 5 percent versus the same period last year.
Granted, with VHS sales all but non-existent these days, high-def's triumph over the videotape is not exactly leaving DVD quaking in its boots. Whether it is in a slump or not, the standard-def disc format is still far and away the dominant home video format of choice for consumers, and it will likely remain so for the foreseeable future
However, more important for the next-gen formats is that with DVD sales dipping and VHS now all but dead, retailers will be more likely to free limited shelf space for Blu-ray and HD DVD titles. Studios, too, are seeing the flattening standard-def market as an incentive to further develop the high-def market in the upcoming fourth quarter.
"What is likely to happen as the business starts to flatten or trend downward, is it becomes less exciting for retail and they dedicate less space to it,” Sony Pictures Home Entertainment worldwide president David Bishop told Video Business.
This news of Blu-ray and HD DVD overtaking VHS follows Warner's announcement just yesterday that its dual-format bow of '300' set a new next-gen sales record, moving a combined 250,000 copies on high-def in only one week.