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US Q1 home entertainment spend up 2%

US consumer spending on home entertainment was up slightly for the first quarter of 2017, reaching $4.7 billion, according to preliminary figures from trade body DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Digital channels, especially Electronic Sell Through (EST), continued to see growth, while results for the physical business were affected by the fact that Easter – traditionally a major gift giving holiday – did not fall in the first quarter as it did in 2016. Home entertainment results outperformed relative to box office, which was off 11 per cent versus the same period in the prior year.

Among the highlights for first quarter 2017:

  • Total US home entertainment spending was nearly $4.7 billion for the first quarter, up about 2 per cent versus the same period 2016 and outpacing the box office value for content released in homes by 13 percentage points.
  • EST – marketed as Digital HD – started the year strong, with growth of 13 per cent versus the prior year. Driven by a 30 per cent increase in the sale of theatrical content, the channel grew more in the first quarter of 2017 than in any quarter last year. Growth was especially strong among animated movies, underscoring how families are increasingly collecting digital versions of films they enjoy. Some of the best-selling EST family titles included Moana (Walt Disney Studios), Trolls (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), Sing (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment), Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Studios), The Secret Life of Pets (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) and Storks (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment).
  • While Video on Demand (VoD) was down 5 per cent from the prior year, internet VoD continued to grow, pacing up 13 per cent over the first quarter 2016.
  • More than 2.6 million 4K Ultra HD TVs sold in the first quarter, up 54 per cent, bringing the total household installed base to more than 18 million. DEG estimates that nearly 115 million US households have either a HDTV or a 4K UHD TV. There are now more than 92 million households with a Blu-ray playback device, up 10 per cent from the previous year, and of those nearly 4 million are Ultra HD Blu-ray playback devices.
  • One year after launch, there are now 139 4K Ultra HD titles available for sale, and those titles collectively sold about 900,000 units for the quarter.

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