US movie viewers make sudden shift to net
More films watched online this year than on disc
Lovefilm subscribers in the UK are already streaming more content over the net than they're receiving on disc through the post, and now it's been claimed that folk in the US will acquire more paid video content online this year than on physical media.
According to IHS Screen Digest, a market watcher, Americans will this year pay to watch 3.4bn net-sourced movies, be they downloads or streams. They'll only buy 2.4bn DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
Screen Digest's numbers show online movie viewing has rocketed from next to nothing in 2007, 2008 and 2009, to a small mark on the graph in 2010, and thence to more than a billion transactions in 2011.
Yet the decline in physical disc sales has been slow during this period and, Screen Digest's forecast suggests, after a bigger but by no means extreme dip over the next couple of years, will continue a slow decline.
US Movie transactions: online vs disc
Data source: IHS Screen Digest
The bottom line: though Americans may be watching more online video than ever through 2016, they'll still be buying a heck of a lot of discs too.
One medium, then, does not entirely displace the other. And it suggests that while online will become viewers' main source for movies and shows they haven't seen before, they will still want to maintain disc collections of material they anticipate watching again and again.
Plenty of folk won't have access to online sources too.
Although online will account for the majority of transactions in 2012, it is set to attract a far lower share of revenue, Display Search said. Online spending will total $1.7bn, rather less than the $11.1bn spent on (far fewer) discs.
Come 2016, online will still account for just 17 per cent of sales revenue, with pay TV yielding eight per cent and sales of physical media 75 per cent. ®
I suspect disc rentals/sales will remain high as long as there are studios that insist on not licensing certain films as downloads. Talk about artifical scarcity...
Almost as cynical as me...
That's just one of the tools I can see them use
"Come 2016, online will still account for just 17 per cent of sales revenue, with pay TV yielding eight per cent and sales of physical media 75 per cent."
With the cost of downloads falling the rate of downloading has increased, and in a year or so it will likely be seen as the norm, as IPTV / Sky Anytime+ / et al take over from BlockBuster. it's at the point that the pricing strategy will shift - we punters will be used to and enjoy the (relative) freedom that downloading brings us, and unlikely revert to solid media for our general entertainment fixes. DVDs' and Blu-Rays' prices will drop in order to keep that market going for the repeat viewer / special owners packs, and as soon as that happens the digital copies' prices will increase to tend to the needs of "infrastructure improvements to cope with the unprecedented demand". Cos they can't see this coming of course. Those prices will remain high, and then physical media's reduced price to keep that markey going will be reversed until two overpriced markets remain tending to the needs of the manstream downloading public, and the niche collectors who actually want something to hold.
Something else these stats don't show...
... how many times do people WATCH the movies they already own on disc ?
These stats capture the sales, not the usage. With downloads that's easy because you (typically) have to pay each time you watch, and even if you don't have to currently, once the industry has everyone weaned onto downloads/streams, that WILL become the model.
It's a film bu$ine$$, after all, not a content delivery charity.
Cant speak to rural, Can't speak to East Coast
But it goes like this in the USA.
1. Got a Job?
2. Got Money?
If you don't' have a job or money you are either homeless or you are staying with someone who has 1 or 2. Basically regardless these people are not totally irrelevant but they are also a mistake to set a blanket statement on.
The welfare state get's basic cable free in their crappy appartments. So they don't give a shit.
If you meet 1 and 2, then chances are you pick up the boxed sets of leverage, white collar, 4400, Stargate/Atlantis, if your an old fart you but things like liberty kids, Miami vice, (or nash bridges if you are really a searcher), Queen Elsapeth (sorry on the spelling I hate psychopaths)
If you meet 1,2 and you have internet access, you are spending more time with real time updates on your derivatives, or stocks to give a crap about what is streaming on some video on some pirate site, since you will just buy every video or band that interests you at costco, frys, and the zillion other places spamming the daily local newspaper.
Rural (out there in nowhere-ville) dudes (meeting 1 and 2) have satellites, so it's a SLOW ping to get the crap rolling but then, they get good stream, once it's all straight.
They probably watch more since they don't come down to the valley for supplies often. A lot of them bridge modems, and are more concerned with BASIC COMMUNICATIONS.
Public Access TV Shows can use nearly anything if they can download/copy it. BMI/ASCAP (yeah there are reasons to download files that are copyright legitimately)
Commercial Broadcast can do the same as public access tv and also pay UMG what 6k 8k a year? for access to all the UMG crap.
I can't speak to disc rentals, since lately they closed blockbuster and many other video rental outlets.
Unless someone owns the actual streaming servers, detailed analysis beyond what I just said, is conspiracy theory. You know the truth, you know I don't lie.
This could be me reading it wrong, but you quote figures for downloaded viewing and physical sales - which means no data for physical rental?