Recently a journalist who focuses on the film industry referred during a radio interview to the “demise of the DVD.”
The Entertainment Merchants Association’s recently released 2016 D2: Disc to Digital annual report on the home entertainment industry demonstrates that the DVD and Blu-ray Disc market is not dead or dying; rather it remains a significant and important segment of our evolving industry.
While the physical goods market has slowly declined since its heyday in 2004, it remains strong. Citing figures released by DEG, the report notes that spending on rental and purchases accounted for half of the overall home video market in 2015, and is expected to still represent 30% of the market in 2019. Both disc rental and disc retail spending currently far exceed their digital equivalents.
Discs contribute significantly to the bottom lines of the studios, as disc sales and rentals are almost equal to theatrical box office. They continue to be an integral part of the economics of the motion picture industry.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the resilience of the disc market: the ease of use; consumers’ comfort with them; the simplicity of search and discovery; the ability to gift; their permanence; the value of ownership; and strong support by retail. And innovations that enhance the disc experience, such as recently released Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, will further extend the life of the disc market.
To be sure, subscription streaming, electronic sell-through, and Internet video-on-demand will continue to grow at the expense of physical goods and expand consumer access to content. Those delivery mechanisms are the future of our industry. But it is not an either/or proposition. Many digital consumers are also physical goods consumers.
Physical goods have lost the overwhelming dominance they once held and are now part of a mix of delivery mechanisms – but it is important to remember they are indeed part of the mix.
And that mix serves consumers well. Whether the desire is to purchase or to rent, physical disc or digital delivery, subscription or a la carte, today’s consumers have options. In fact, they have the greatest number of options ever in how to receive their video entertainment.
We are in industry in transition. But physical discs remain integral to the industry. To state that discs are dead is just plain wrong.