After over six months of head-to-head combat, we finally have an all-inclusive independent yardstick against which to compare Blu-ray and HD DVD disc sales, thanks to the first public release of sales numbers from Neilsen VideoScan.
Nielsen VideoScan is home entertainment industry's leading source for competitive sales info, tracking point-of-sale data from all channels of video distribution including mass merchants, audio/video retailers, electronics outlets, grocery stores, drug stores, and internet sites.
And while the numbers are still not quite as crispy as we'd like (you won't find any hard sales figures here -- only an index of how each format is faring against the other), they do suggest some trending that's likely to be music to the ears of Blu-ray supporters.
According to VideoScan, during the first two weeks of January, Blu-ray discs outsold HD DVD by more than a 2:1 margin. It should be noted that the two weeks in question saw only two new high-def disc releases -- both from Blu-ray ('The Covenant' on Jan 2, and 'Crank' on Jan 9).
More interestingly, VideoScan's numbers indicate that during the seven days between Jan 7 and Jan 14, Blu-ray managed to close the gap of total discs sold since inception with HD DVD by over seven percentage points, suggesting that if the current trend continues, the two formats could be at disc sales parity within weeks.
The sales charts, which first appeared in the industry trade Home Media Magazine are reproduced below:
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The release of this VideoScan data follows months of speculation and conjecture on both sides of the fence. While format boosters have released Amazon sales charts and analyst reports in search of some sense of who's "winning" the format war.
With the anticipated continued weekly release of these numbers, supporters of both formats should have a somewhat more definitive yardstick against which to measure their format's disc sales prowess. As always, stay tuned... (Thanks to Brian for sending in this tip!)