US consumers spent 5% more on home entertainment year-over-year in 3Q 2011, the first increase since 1Q 2008, according to the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG). A 52% jump in Blu-ray disc sales and strong gains in electronic sell-through spending (EST) were the main drivers, according to the Los Angeles-based industry association’s “Third Quarter 2011 Home Entertainment Report.”

DEG’s looking ahead to a strong 4Q, with the year-end holiday shopping season just around the corner, noting that a string of anticipated blockbusters is due to hit movie theaters.

Among the promising trends in 3Q, DEG notes the following in its latest report:

  • Blu-ray Disc and electronic sell through (EST) continued their steady gains with consumer spending on Blu-ray sell-through up an impressive 58 percent and EST up nearly 13 percent compared to the same period last year.
  • Sales of packaged goods often surpass 50 percent on Blu-ray for box-office hits in their first week of release.
  • Catalog Blu-ray sales are also increasing, with year-to-date increases of more than 60 percent, led by the sales of popular classics such as Star Wars, Citizen Kane, Scarface and The Big Lebowski.
  • Among the various services and platforms for delivering filmed entertainment to consumers, Blu-ray, EST, and streaming all saw growth in third quarter 2011. These also represent some of the industry’s highest growth margin areas, according to DEG.
  • The number of Blu-ray homes jumped 52 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, including BD set-tops, PS3s and HTiBs (Home Theater in a Box). Total household penetration of all Blu-ray compatible devices now stands at more than 33.5 million U.S. homes.
  • HDTV sales also continue to increase – 5.5 million HDTVs were sold to U.S. consumers in 3Q. HDTV penetration to date is now at more than 69.5 million U.S. households.

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