New Titles and EST Boost Home Entertainment Spending

Consumers spent approximately $4.69 billion on home entertainment purchases and rentals during Q1 2013, according to the Digital Entertainment Group. Spending rose more than five percent over the same period in 2012, due to a new slate of titles and growth of electronic sell-through (largely a result of increased access to digital content). Some credit the success of UltraViolet, which may be loosening Apple’s grip on the EST market.

Sales of new release product were up 12 percent, while sales of catalog titles on Blu-ray jumped 16 percent. However, physical disc rentals were down 11.9 percent. New titles such as “Argo” and “Skyfall” were released during the quarter.

“For studios, the big news was a rebirth in disc sales, which have been trending downward for more than five years. Buoyed by a 28.5 percent increase in Blu-ray Disc sales, overall packaged media sales were up 2.12 percent, to $2.1 billion from $2.06 billion in the first quarter of 2012. Add in electronic sell-through, which grew 51.5 percent in the first quarter to $231.2 million, and the total sell-through pie grew 4.9 percent,” writes The Hollywood Reporter.

“Total consumer spending on digital content consumption was up 26.2 percent, to $1.56 billion, buoyed by healthy gains in not just EST but also video-on-demand (up 15.73 percent to $614.9 million) and subscription streaming (up 29.35 percent to $709.6 million),” notes THR.

The total number of HDTV households in the U.S. has exceeded 112.6 million — and nearly 60 million homes now have at least one type of Blu-ray Disc player.