Black Friday discount for 4K UHD Blu-ray titles has helped Blu-ray sales rise compared to the last Black Friday sales event
Black Friday 2018 has resulted in a small uplift for Blu-ray sales compared to last year's sales event, and retailers offering heavy discounts for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray titles may have contributed.
Blu-ray sales were up nearly 9 per cent this Black Friday compared to the previous one, according to the latest data released by Media Play News Research.
This represents a rare piece of good news for Blu-ray sales, and physical media sales in general, with the trend showing a steady decline in sales in recent years. The popularity of streaming and digital sell-through is thought to be responsible.
Last year's Black Friday saw Blu-ray sales dip by 8.5% compared to Black Friday 2016.
This year's unexpectedly strong results could be due to the fact that, for the first time, many retailers heavily discounted 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs (4K UHD disc sales are normally counted towards Blu-ray sales).
Amazon, for example, dropped the price selected popular UHD titles, such as 'Deadpool 2', from their usual $25 to only $9. One title, 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle', was discounted to as low as $7.96. The former was actually the top selling Blu-ray title for this Black Friday, with 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' jumping from the 36th spot in sales to 8th.
Standard Blu-ray titles were still cheaper, but the pricing difference was minute in some cases, and less than $3 for most of the discounted titles. As UHD editions always contain a standard Blu-ray version of the film, it made purchasing the UHD version an easy choice for future proofing, even for some buyers that did not yet have an UHD Blu-ray player.
There is further proof that 4K sales may have driven this Black Friday's bumper Blu-ray results. While Blu-ray unit sales grew by 3.4% compared to results from last Black Friday, revenue grew by a higher 8.9%. This means a higher average unit price for sales this year compared to the last, and this usually either means strong box set sales, or perhaps more likely, strong sales of the higher priced UHD titles.
Total disc sales unfortunately still declined year on year by more than 9%, thanks to a large 20.8% drop in DVD sales. DVD sales have steadily dropped over the years, with Black Friday 2008 recording a high of $386.35 million in sales, down all the way to $116.45 million for this Black Friday.