Not sure if this has been posted yet...Making Sense of the High-Def DVD Numbers
...Currently, the only real source of independent sales data on next-generation DVD sales has come from Neilsen VideoScan, a member of the well-known Neilsen family of companies that generate the ratings used to determine the popularity of TV programs. Neilsen has tracked sales numbers since November, and provided weekly data to industry trade publications on a week-to-week basis. However, the firm kindly sent over a spreadsheet of all of their numbers, which we used to produce the attached graph.
Normally, this would be enough to justify a news story, as others have done. However, I think the numbers make more sense in this more informal context, primarily because Neilsen has refused to comment on or to analyze the numbers. That means I have to do my own analysis, which is difficult to do in an otherwise objective news story.
Probably the most telling point is one that is not reflected in the graphic: the "inception-to-date" figures, which tally up all of the sales for each format. Although the graphs seem to indicate a considerable decline on the part of HD DVD in favor of Blu-Ray, this isn't true at all: to date (Jan. 28), 53.3 percent of all next-gen DVDs have been in the HD DVD format, compared to 46.7 percent for Blu-ray. This contrasts quite strongly with reports that the Blu-Ray format is widely outselling HD DVD.
Figures from another analyst firm, The NPD Group, which also tracks U.S. retail sales, also seem to support this: sales of hardware players (not movies) from April through December 2006 also give HD DVD a slight edge, 52 percent to 48 percent for Blu-ray. Unfortunately, they are reserving the most recent data for their paying clients...