December 5, 2014
The home entertainment divisions of Hollywood studios are projected to generate record sales of movies and TV shows on digital platforms this holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Digital sales are experiencing an upswing as more consumers access media via their mobile devices, smart TVs and connected game consoles. In addition, retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Walmart are pushing digital in an effort to make up for the downward trend in disc sales.
“At the end of the third quarter, the industry was already close to last year’s benchmark of nearly $1.2 billion from digital downloads,” reports Variety. “Through October, it had generated $1 billion, up 33 percent over last year, according to the Digital Entertainment Group.”
“That figure could easily top $1.4 billion by the end of 2014, which would mark a new milestone. Digital sales generated nearly $425 million during the fourth quarter in 2013, an increase of 44 percent over 2012.”
Studios have been actively promoting Digital HD as a brand, even making titles available through digital retailers weeks ahead of a disc’s release in order to attract consumers.
Walmart is encouraging customers to redeem the digital codes available with purchased discs they purchase, hoping to generate new activity for online stores like Vudu.
“Meanwhile, Walmart’s Vudu has joined Google Play and Apple’s iTunes in backing Disney Movies Anywhere, an app through which Disney is making more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies available to view and purchase,” notes Variety, adding that “the addition of Google’s Android will now make Disney Movies Anywhere available on a majority of the world’s smartphones and tablets for the first time.”
Digital ownership will continue to face challenges from VOD and SVOD. According to DEG, consumers spent $3.2 billion last year on subscription streaming services, in addition to $2.1 billion on VOD rentals via cable and satellite providers.