A new report from research firm Futuresource Consulting predicts that sales of Blu-ray discs in the US, Europe and Japan will top the 100 million mark by the end of 2009.
Much of the surge in sales is expected to take place in the US, where analysts predict sales in excess of 80 million.
If fulfilled, the predictions will come as welcome news for Sony and other Blu-ray backers. After beating HD-DVD as the standard for high-definition video disc formatting, the Blu-ray camp has turned its attention to the larger market.
However, while hardware vendors have been exploring the use of Blu-ray as a storage format, video has remained its top market.
The consumer electronics market that Blu-ray targets could be spared some of the economic hardship that is battering the rest of the technology industry, as money-conscious buyers opt for home entertainment over going out.
Mai Hoang, a senior analyst at Futuresource, explained that Europe is still considered to be in the "early adopter" stage for the standard, and that the UK leads the way in Blu-ray uptake.
"With sales of more than 3.5 million units in 2008, [the UK] represented over 40 per cent of the western European total. Blu-ray also benefited from a number of UK television campaigns during the critical fourth quarter of 2008, considerably raising consumer awareness," said Hoang.
"Factor in Sky's high-profile approach to marketing its HD service, and to a lesser extent the BBC/ITV joint venture Freesat, and the cumulative effect has made a substantial impact on the marketplace."
Futuresource also predicts that 2009 will see Blu-ray beginning to muscle DVD out of the market. By 2012, Futuresource predicts that Blu-ray sales will comprise 35 per cent of western European video disc sales, and half of the US market.
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