Online movie sales growth has slowed sharply in 2009. Screen Digest had forecast $360 milliom worth building on $219 million in 2008, but sales fell short at $291 million.
The researcher doesn't believe it was recession but that demand just dropped off, not least because of the myriad of services with downloads that won't work across devices.
Hollywood has moved to address problems associated with digital distribution yet the industry is divided on the best way forward. Disney has created Keychest, which it describes as “enabling technology” that allows consumers to buy a film once and watch it anywhere. But the rest of the industry is supporting the rival Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem coalition, which is backed by Sony Pictures.
Screen Digest has slashed its growth forecasts for digital film sales by 30 per cent after the smaller-than-expected rise last year.