US consumers are turning away from owning movies to watch in their homes, buying far fewer releases in 2011 than in previous years. Total revenues from the sale of films on DVDs, Blu-rays and via digital distribution dropped more than 12 per cent to $9.5 billion, according to a report released by the Digital Entertainment Group, which represents film studios and device manufacturers.
“It’s growing evidence of a disenchantment with owning movies,” said Dan Cryan, analyst with IHS Screen Digest. “Consumers are shifting to rental and subscription services which allow them to watch a wide range of content for a lower price.”
There was encouraging growth of digital film distribution, which grew more than 50 per cent to $3.4 billion thanks to the emergence of online streaming services, such as Netflix.
Revenues from video-on-demand services increased almost seven per cent to $1.9 billion, boosted by kiosk operators such as Redbox, which have risen in popularity as established retail outlets, such as Blockbuster, suffered. The DEG said the market for filmed entertainment, which includes all sale and rental revenues, had “clearly stabilised” and pointed to growth of 5 per cent in the third quarter, the first such increase since 2008.