Blu-ray Player, Disc Sales Boosted During Stay-at-Home Spell

It’s not at all surprising that self-isolating citizens in the U.S. have been flocking to video streaming services in large numbers since the pandemic arrived. For example, a press release issued last week by the NPD Group, an organization that tracks consumer data, cited a “72 percent increase in the number of Netflix subscriber profiles that were used to stream video each week” following orders from states around the country telling residents to shelter at home. What is surprising is the increase we’re also seeing now in sales of Blu-ray Disc players, a product category in sharp decline after hitting its peak back in 2015.

How large an increase? A recent post by entertainment industry publication Media Play News reported NPD data indicating that Blu-ray players were “up 27% in unit sales for the week ended April 18 compared with same week a year ago.” And the same NPD release noting the Netflix surge also cited double-digit growth in Blu-ray disc and DVD sales in certain areas of the U.S. since mid-March compared with the numbers for January and February.

Why are consumers suddenly buying Blu-ray players? Part of the reason could be that people now have the downtime to look over their disc collections, including all those movies picked up in the $5 bin at Best Buy that they never got around to watching. Meanwhile, that player they bought back in 2009 is suddenly seeming long in the tooth; it might still play discs, but it can’t be used to stream Netflix or Hulu.


Yet another reason could be that for some, streaming isn’t even possible: A recent FCC report cited the number of U.S. homes without access to broadband internet, most of them in rural areas, at around 21 million, though independent studies have suggested the actual number is twice that amount. With no Netflix or other video streaming services available, these rural households, mostly in the Midwest and Mountain states, are apparently turning to tried-and-true disc formats to tide them over during lockdown.

Source: Media Play News


No Shortage of Blu-ray Players…Yet

rjmedich's picture

Are those just standard HD Blu-ray players? Do we know if 4K UHD players are selling?

Chris Teeh's picture

I hate when these types of maps put some states in places that they really don't belong in. I hate when they keep putting CT in a "New England" grouping - as if CT thinks like or has anything in common with the Boston region - which is quite a distance away. I also hate when they group (sometimes) PA in with a mid-Atlantic - when they are not even on the Atlantic! In fact, NY does not consider itself to be mid-Atlantic! When I watch the local news (NYC), they always point to southern NJ and beyond when they talk mid-Atlantic.

I hate that stuff. CT is in metro NYC (NY/NJ/CT) and not in the Boston region and nothing Boston is local to CT. PA is not even on the east coast, and it has nothing to do with anything concerning the east COAST except being near states that are on the east coast.

John_Werner's picture

I've just got one thing to say. Since the demise of Oppo UHD universal players there's just one purchase anyone who values the physical disc medium should make. That's the Sony UBP-X800M2. It's an amazing value.

funambulistic's picture

The 800M2 is a fantastic value no doubt. If one needs analog outputs (like me) the 1100ES has 'em. When I made the purchase of my universal player the 1100ES was OOS (and since the newer Oppos were priced out of reach) I found a sweet deal on the Pioneer UDP-LX500 and do not regret it one bit!