The counter cyclical nature of home entertainment spending has been confirmed with a surge of more than 50 per cent in spending on e-commerce services such as Netflix and Amazon – helped by booming sales of Blu-ray discs of films such as the Star Wars franchise – has fuelled the first rise in home entertainment spending in the US for more than three years.
Consumer spending on services that provide films and TV shows digitally – including streaming, video-on-demand and subscription services such as iTunes and Hulu – grew 55.79 per cent year on year to $811m in the third quarter, according to a report by industry body the Digital Entertainment Group.
The booming growth of digital services and surge in Blu-ray disc sales fuelled an overall 4.87 per cent year-on-year increase in total US home entertainment spending in the third quarter to $4 billion.
However, the DEG report showed that rentals of DVDs through outlets such as Blockbuster plunged almost 29 per cent year on year to $353 million.
Sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs through retail stores, that is not through digital channels, fell 4 per cent to $1.75 billion.
However, the overall figure for the “packaged goods” category masks a growing success story for Blu-ray discs.
The DEG said the number of US homes with Blu-ray players has surged 52 per cent year on year to 33.5 million, which includes homes with PS3s which have the player built in as standard, with sales of discs up 58 per cent.
According to the report more than 50 per cent of sales of discs of major box office hits are frequently Blu-ray in the first week. In addition, older films such as Star Wars, Citizen Kane and The Big Lebowski are proving to be big winners on Blu-ray, with “stellar sales” climbing more than 60 per cent year on year