People watch movies on stuff
Streaming remains minority pursuit
Digital downloads may be ever increasing in popularity, but physical discs reign supreme when it comes to movie viewing and expenditure. For now.
In the last three months, 77 per cent of US consumers reported watching films on DVD or BD - a stat that is unchanged from last year, the market research firm NPD reports. By contrast j 68 per cent watched a movie over a TV channel, 49 per cent at a cinema and just 21 per cent paid for a film through their TV set.
When asked about expenditure on home video, consumers said about 78 per cent of their home entertainment budget was splashed on DVD/BD rentals, including in-store and online purchases.
Fifteen per cent was spent on subscription services such as Netflix, while the remaining eight per cent was split between digital downloads, paid streaming, pay-per-view films and video on demand.
NPD analyst Russ Crupnick expects continued growth in the digital sector, but today physical discs continue to "lead overall engagement and spending by home video viewers; and even with increasing use of VOD and other digital formats, the primacy of DVD and Blu-ray in home video will continue for the foreseeable future."
The future is today for Lovefilm, the UK's answer to Netflix, which has announced an on-demand deal with Walt Disney to stream 50 films from Tron: Legacy to Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The movies will be available at no extra cost to all customers who pay at least £5.99 a month in subscription. ®
Reliable Streaming Video
There are sometimes free On Demand videos available via my cable provider.
However, when I have tried to view them, I have gotten "unavailable" messages roughly 50% of the time.
I'm not going to risk a credit card charge for video when Time Warner's definitions of "Available" and "On Demand" diverges so significantly from my own. It's not that I don't expect them to reverse the charge if I should call them. It's the inevitability of having to make the phone call that makes me resist.
For me, one way to make the On Demand numbers go up is to demonstrate a greater willingness to DELIVER On Demand video.
It would be great if there was a transmission system that could blast films simultaneously to millions of endpoints with minimal bandwidth. Users could record the films to watch as many times as they want, leaving the internet free what what it does best, ie. 2 way point to point traffic.
What discs offer
Getting hold of a movie isn't that difficult for any reasonably clued person. But what discs offer above all else is the selection of extras. I, personally, am fond of the commentary track. Sure, sometimes it is self-obsessed waffle, but sometimes you can gain quite an insight into how the movie was put together and why certain scenes/things are the way they are. A decent disc (in addition to a level of quality that leaves the other options standing) will offer plenty of material to keep you occupied far beyond the running time of the movie.
An example being one of the Terminator series (T2?) that offered a mini guide to making movies, plus the screenplay, plus loads more. Another example being "The Taste Of Tea" (surreal weirdness at its finest) where the making-of was highly detailed and had a longer running time than the film itself!
Plus, you have the media in your hands. In the case of DVD, a little €20 player will work (and the cheap end of the market are increasingly good at dealing with 30fps NTSC content with minimal jitter), home computers, in car gadgets, ripping to XviD for your mobile phone... There are few issues with overly restrictive DRM.
When downloads offer the extras and the flexibility, then the disc might see some competition.
Not sure about this
Because I'd always admit to engaging in 'criminal' behaviour (torrenting movies) if asked by a 'research company' over the phone.
I want it now
I only have a 2Mb/s connection, it is quicker to go order on Amazon than to download, as for streaming even youtube stutters badly. Until netspeeds increase drastically this sort of thing will remain the preserve of a few lucky ones.