GfK Entertainment: The Impact of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc in Key International Markets

GfK Entertainment: The Impact of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc in Key International Markets

Analyst Julian Sprengel from GfK Entertainment

Julian Sprengel                  GfK Entertainment

With the launch of more and more 4K Ultra HD-ready devices in the last few years, consumer awareness  for high quality media content has risen, too. How does this affect the traditional physical formats like DVD and standard Blu-ray Disc? The decisive question is whether the new 4K format has already managed to gain significant shares in the key markets outside the US, or if it still plays a minor role there.

In fact, the Blu-ray format has become increasingly important around the world, while the DVD has predictably lost share worldwide. In particular, Japan is showing a high Blu-ray affinity, followed by Norway, Spain and the German speaking territories (Austria, Germany and Switzerland). Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, show the lowest Blu-ray share of the total market.

GfK Entertainment chart on Blu-ray and DVD shares and development

Remarkably, Japan has both the highest Blu-ray share and the highest price level compared to the other key markets. One reason for this might be that add-on products are included in physical box sales, e.g. concert tickets that are sold exclusively in combination with the music Blu-ray disc. The price level for Blu-ray is almost similar in Australia and Germany, whereas France is slightly above.

GfK Entertainment slide on Blu-ray prices

After the introduction of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc in 2016,  the high-resolution format has established itself, even though the impact on the total market is still relatively small. In terms of market shares, it shows a more or less steady growth in Australia, France and Germany. In Japan, however, the performance was fair to middling. And yet, Japan is showing by far the month with the highest share in July 2017 which was driven by the immense success of “Kimi no Na wa.” (English title: “Your Name.”) The weaker 4K performance for the remaining time periods in Japan might be caused by the lack of other local productions in 4K in combination with the higher price level and the high market penetration of Blu-ray. All in all, it becomes obvious that the 4K Ultra HD resolution has managed the breakthrough for big international productions only, whereas on the general market it has not managed to reach a broader audience yet.


Julian Sprengel is Market Research Analyst Multimedia International, GfK Entertainment.

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