You can thank Netflix for helping the home entertainment industry to report the coulda-been-worse numbers for video sales and rentals in Q3. Total consumer spending, at $3.97B, was up 0.05% vs the period last year — even though, The Digital Entertainment Group notes, theatrical revenues for the releases were down 6.4% from last year. Still, the numbers show a $13.5M shift from high-margin sales to low-margin rentals: Total sales (including discs and electronic sellthrough) fell 7.4% to $1.72B while rentals (again, physical and electronic) were up 16.5% to $1.06B. Optimists will find comfort in the digital data. Spending on subscription streaming was +33.1% to $815.2M. That’s probably almost all Netflix; DEG doesn’t include subscription VOD that’s “bundled with other services,” which would knock out Amazon Prime. Studios also should be encouraged by the growth of electronic sellthrough: +46.4% to $273.9M. That’s an acceleration from the quarter last year (+37.7%) and in 2011 (+12.8%). VOD spending at $468M was up 2.8%, a slow down from last year when it was +8.5%. Results continue to look dismal for discs, though.
Effective this month, Hollywood studios will package digital film and television content under the standard “Digital” or “Digital HD” brand, trade org Digital Entertainment Group announced today. The distinction applies to non-physical filmed media with the …
Here’s yet another indication that movie theater owners are making peace with the idea that their customers also want to spend time being entertained at home. This weekend 24 Cinemark theaters in five markets – …
The continuing decline in DVD sales, and disc rentals at bricks-and-mortar stores and subscription services led by Netflix, continued to weigh the business down according to data out today from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. It reports that consumers spent $5.66B in Q4, a 1.5% drop vs the period last year. That resulted in a full-year total of $18B, up 0.23%. The total sell-through figure for packaged goods — largely discs — fell 8.4% to $3.1B in Q4. That’s due to DVDs: While the trade group doesn’t break out data for Blu-ray discs (it once did), it says that spending on the high-definition format was up 10% for the year. DEG doesn’t break out sales of UltraViolet-enabled discs but says that the initiative has “achieved significant milestones in industry and consumer adoption and is rapidly becoming an integral part of the home entertainment landscape.” Spending on digital downloads is up — 50% to $295M — but not enough to compensate for the decline in DVDs.
LOS ANGELES, May 31, 2012 — The two billion-dollar box office phenomenon and winner of 11 Academy Awards®, TITANIC, makes its highly anticipated debut on Blu-ray 2D and 3D on September 14, 2012 from Paramount Home Media Distribution and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Available in high definition for the first time ever, James Cameron’s timeless and unforgettable tour de force will be presented in stunning 2D and 3D, providing a cinematic in-home experience of TITANIC like never before. Marking 101 years ago today that the RMS Titanic was launched into the Belfast Lough, film fans worldwide can now pre-order the epic love story on Blu-ray 2D or Blu-ray 3D™ with participating online retailers.
BEIJING (April 24, 2012) – In the wake of China’s record-breaking box-office opening of TITANIC 3D, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (FOX) AND SONY have announced an exclusive, large-scale bundling partnership for the film’s Blu-ray 3D release this fall. Marking the industry’s biggest bundling and promotional program to date in China, James Cameron’s epic love story will be packaged with SONY’s Blu-ray Player and Blu-ray Home Theatre to provide consumers with a fully immersive Blu-ray 3D in-home experience like never before.
With the shipping of more than 5.5 million 3D television sets in China last year — versus 174,000 in 2010 — the Chinese consumer is now proving to be one of the most enthusiastic adopters of 3D content in the world, both inside the home and in theaters.
Moguls will need a stiff drink nearby when they read Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne’s bracing report today about the state of the home video business — and Hollywood studios. He says that film operations at Universal, Disney, Paramount, Fox, and Warner Bros are worth about $19.3B, down from $40.2B in 2007. And a big reason for the 52% drop is that studios’ annual home video profits from each TV household fell to $100 last year from $127 in 2007 — and will continue to slide to $93 in 2015. Sales and high-priced rentals of DVDs and Blu-ray discs from retailers such as Blockbuster are simply falling too fast as consumers discover that they can do just fine paying $1.20 a night to rent a disc at a kiosk — or less to watch a movie from Netflix. The analyst says it’s possible that studios will boost sales of discs with the UltraViolet initiative, which gives buyers opportunities to stream the movies to mobile and other digital devices. But probably not:
Nomura analyst Michael Nathanson doesn’t buy the spin from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group this week that the clouds are beginning to part for the home video business. The industry group said that spending only fell 2.1% last year — …
The 2012 International CES isn’t just an opportunity for the digital cognicente to look at new gadgets. It’s also a chance to brush up on the latest industry jargon. Don’t let it throw you. If you know the following words and concepts, then you should be able to easily hold your own in a conversation with someone returning from the annual consumer electronics spectacle in Las Vegas:
Ultrabooks: These are what you get when you cross a laptop computer with a tablet, and they’re grabbling the lion’s share of attention at the 2012 International CES. Ultrabooks are thin and light; most use solid state hard drives instead of the traditional storage drives built around a rotating disc. Intel is leading the cheerleading squad for ultrabooks, which it hopes will reenergize the laptop computer market.
The years-long decline of home video sales appears finally to have stabilized, the trade organization Digital Entertainment Group reports. While filmed home entertainment dipped 2% for the year in 2011, there were genuine positive signs. Annual spending on Blu-ray discs rose 20% last year, hitting $2 billion for the first time, the DEG says. Additionally, nearly 40 million homes now have Blu-ray playback devices, 38% more than in 2010. The decline in home video revenues has leveled off, with consumer spending on filmed home entertainment rising 1% for the second half of the year. The third-quarter spending actually rose 5%, the first quarterly increase since 2008. Additionally, electronic sell-through was up 9% for the year, and spending on video-on-demand was up 7%. Consumers also continued to embrace HDTV, purchasing 27 million HD sets during 2011. HDTV penetration is now at more than 74.5 million U.S. households.
I’m told that Sony is indeed sounding out cable programmers including Discovery, NBCUniversal, and News Corp to see whether they’re willing to cut deals to have their shows streamed to Sony devices such as PlayStations and Blu-ray players. The Japanese tech and entertainment giant is thinking about a model that would resemble Amazon’s with its new Kindle Fire tablet: It might cut the price of the devices, and count on subscription payments to make up the lost revenues. But nothing is imminent. And the feeling is that The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news about Sony’s plans this morning, pushed too hard on the possibility that the tech and entertainment giant might end up with a full-fledged rival to cable TV. Sony has raised the idea with programmers of offering channels live, just as they’d appear on cable. Insiders tell me, though, that there’s only a remote possibility that Sony will make much headway with that idea — except perhaps with minor networks that have few carriage deals. They consider it significant that Sony is telling programmers that it is open to creating a more conventional subscription VOD service like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu Plus. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung have also been sniffing around to see what programming they can offer via the Internet, and on what terms. Meanwhile, pay TV companies are working on TV Everywhere deals so they can stream shows to subscribers’ digital devices.
Harry Potter fans take heart. Just because Warner Bros says it won’t ship more DVDs or Blu-rays after December 29, that doesn’t mean Hogwarts will immediately vanish from physical or virtual shelves. Or that it won’t be available for …
Looks like that boycott called by hardcore fans didn’t amount to much. Nor were buyers perturbed by some very controversial changes in the 9-disc Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Complete Saga with 40 hours of extras. Instead, the Complete Saga on Blu-ray release broke global sales records with 1 million units sold and $84 million filling cash registers. It quickly becomes the #1 pre-order and #1 catalog title since the launch of the high-definition format. Needless to say, Lucasfilm Ltd and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are high-fiving today’s announcement that Star Wars is the bestselling catalog Blu-ray Disc of all time, including 515,000 units sold in North America in its first week alone. This worldwide consumer spend included $38 million in North America – unprecedented for a 9-disc Blu-ray collection at a premium price: