Home entertainment sales on DVD, Blu-ray are off 19%
Consumer purchases of newly released DVDs fell precipitously in the first three months of the year -- declines that were not made up by gains in sales of Blu-ray discs or emerging streaming services.
Digital Entertainment Group reported Monday that overall spending on home entertainment fell to $4.2 billion, down 9.8% from the same period a year earlier. Hardest hit were new-movie purchases, which fell 19% for the first quarter compared with a year ago, when four major blockbuster films were released on DVD and Blu-ray disc.
Physical and digital sales amounted to $2.2 billion for the period, off markedly from $2.7 billion a year ago. Blu-ray disc purchases were up 10% from a year ago, but these sales were not enough to make up for falling DVD sales.
The movie-rental market -- which includes not only traditional chain stores, but also streaming services such as Netflix Inc. and kiosk services such as Redbox -- made modest gains for the quarter. Total consumer spending on home movie rentals rose 2.5% to nearly $2 billion. Big gains in physical and digital subscription services offset declines at retail stores.
Emerging digital services that allow consumers to purchase a movie by way of Apple Inc.'s iTunes store or receive movies on demand were up a total of 8% for the quarter to $614 million.
-- Dawn C. Chmielewski