NPD: Sky Isn't Falling for HD-DVD, Blu-ray Isn't Champ Yet

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Sales data for HD-DVD and Blu-ray players and movies has been misconstrued lately by various outlets, with reports implying that HD-DVD sales have fallen at an amazing pace while Blu-ray sales have blasted through the roof.

Not so fast, says the NPD Group.

While select articles have implied that HD-DVD as a format is doomed and the sky is falling for the format’s supporters, the NPD Group this afternoon reinforced that sales results from a single week do not necessarily indicate a trend, and that the week in question had several intriguing variables that have gone unreported.

The NPD Group attempted to quiet the storm of online scuttlebutt with the following statement:

“As you may have seen, there are attempts being made to portray NPD’s weekly sales tracking figures for next generation DVD as a trend. We want to remind you and make clear that it is not accurate to make long term assumptions based on one week of sales — a cautionary point that NPD has made as well.

“The facts are that during the week that is being singled out, both Blu-ray disc players and software were being given away for free with the purchase of 1080p TVs. It is also important to note that the instant rebate promotions that had previously netted Toshiba’s players’ MSRPs to $199 and $249 had actually ended on Jan. 5th — causing an increase in HD DVD’s MSRP back to $299 and $399 during that same week. Since Toshiba’s retail price move on Jan. 13th to $149 / $199 — Toshiba is seeing very positive sales trends at retail. This reinforces the fact that price is a significant driver of sales.

“Toshiba’s HD DVD players represent a significant value to the consumer and the marketing campaign that just began is proving effective.”

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