April 15, 2019
According to the MPAA’s annual Theatrical Home Entertainment Market Environment (THEME) Report, data from DEG and IHS Markit points to a significant reduction in the sales of video discs, including DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and Ultra HD Blu-ray. Global sales of video disc formats dropped from $25.2 billion in 2014 to $13.1 billion in 2018. However, global consumer spending on home entertainment increased 16 percent over 2017, thanks in part to the growing adoption of online subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. The combined theatrical and home entertainment market increased 25 percent from five years ago.
“Last year, the combined theatrical and home entertainment market was $96.8 billion. This represents a nine percent increase over 2017,” notes the THEME Report. “The total global box office topped $41 billion and the U.S./Canada box office reached a new record high of $11.9 billion. Total cinema screens worldwide increased seven percent, reaching nearly 190,000.”
In terms of physical discs, Ars Technica suggests that we not “expect 8K Blu-rays or other emerging quality-focused formats to turn the tide,” since market data indicates “the aging, low-definition DVD format still accounts for 57.9 percent of physical media sales, and 4K Blu-rays are only 5.3 percent.”
Samsung announced its plans to stop manufacturing Blu-ray players in the U.S. “Chinese OEM Oppo made a similar announcement last year, though Sony and Panasonic continue to make dedicated Blu-ray players,” notes Ars. “Also, Microsoft and Sony’s game consoles still play Blu-rays.”
The THEME Report points out there were 613 million subscriptions worldwide to online video services in 2018, a 27 percent jump from the previous year, and surpassing cable for the first time.
“Subscriptions are expected to grow significantly over the next couple of years, as major players like Disney, Apple, and WarnerMedia introduce new streaming services to compete with existing players like HBO and Netflix,” reports Ars.