As TV-connected devices become commonplace in US homes, more consumers are choosing to rent and purchase digital movies. As of August 2018, 61 million households in the US had at least one Internet-connected TV, video game console, Blu-ray Disc player or streaming media player, representing year over year growth of three million homes, according to The NPD Group.
Specifically, households with an Internet-connected TV increased 20 per cent and those with streaming media players grew 17 per cent. At the same time, digital movie purchase and rental transactions increased 19 per cent in the first half of 2018.
“Growth in digital movie transactions is being driven, in part, by access to TV-connected devices as an increasing number of viewers can simply buy and rent movies right in their living room,” said John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “While greater access begets consumption, certain digital movie providers facilitate ownership over renting.”
Among the top five digital movie providers, iTunes users have the highest propensity to buy over rent, because Apple’s movie consumers are more affluent and more apt to collect movies. In the 12-months ending August 2018, nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) of iTunes movie transactions were motivated by a desire to build a digital collection, leading to more buying than renting, according to NPD’s VideoWatch Digital service.
Vudu customers were also more ownership focused than the average video consumer, as such 20 per cent of transactions were motivated by collecting. In contrast, collecting movies only drove 13 per cent of Amazon Video digital movie transactions, 9 per cent of Google Play movie transactions, and 4 per cent of Microsoft Store movie transactions.
“It’s long been known that collectability drives ownership and that’s no difference in the digital era,” advised Ricardo Solar, president of media entertainment for NPD. “Movie fans will always want to own great films, as such, provider agnostic services like Movies Anywhere are critical for enabling digital sales growth.”