Home entertainment spending rises for the first time since 2008
Purchases of recorded movies fell to $1.7 billion in the latest period, down 4% from the third quarter of 2010, a new report from Digital Entertainment Group shows.
The continued drop in consumer purchases of movies came despite the growth in popularity of Blu-ray discs. Sales of films Blu-ray discs, an increasingly popular format, were up 58%, but that wasn't enough to offset a decline in DVD sales.
The video rental market also was soft, staying relatively flat at $1.8 billion. The closing of hundreds of Blockbuster outlets helped push rental revenue from physical stores down 29%. The loss of Blockbuster stores was partially offset by gains in rentals at Redbox kiosks.
Digital revenue, increasingly important for the home entertainment business, showed double-digit percentage gains. Spending on online rentals and purchases jumped 56% to $811 million as subscription streaming services such as those offered by Netflix and Amazon.com gained popularity. The increase also reflects a decision by Netflix to report its revenue from streaming separately from its movies-by-mail revenue.
— Dawn C. Chmielewski
Photo: Amazon.com is bulking up its Amazon Prime service, in part to provide entertainment content for the company's new Kindle Fire tablet. Credit: Emile Wamsteker / Bloomberg