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Streaming to surpass discs in 2012
2012: Streaming to surpass physical discs by 1 billion

26 Mar 2012 | Rasmus Larsen |

The beginning of the end for physical discs? According to IHS Screen Digest the streaming movie market will surpass DVD and Blu-ray use by 1 billion views in the US in 2012, marking the first year that streaming will be more popular than physical discs.

Online streaming overtakes physical discs

A new market forecast from IHS predicts that viewing of physical discs such as DVD and Blu-ray will shrink from 2.6 billion to 2.4 billion in 2012 At the same time online streaming of movies will more than double to 3.4 billion from 1.4 billion last year. In other words, online streaming will surpass physical discs by 1 billion in 2012 in the US.

IHS predicts massive growth in online streaming

The decline of the physical disc market has been predicted for years but the breakthrough in streaming is now reality. And it has already been felt by the players in the market. Just last year Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

- “We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray,” Dan Cryan, senior analyst at IHS says to Bloomberg.

- “But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business.”

Dan Cryan continues and says that unlimited streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant accounted for 94 percent of all online streaming last year. Pay-per-use services such as iTunes accounted for just 1.3 percent.

The most popular streaming hardware today is media boxes such as the Roku, Boxee and Apple TV, as well as game consoles such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. But the TV makers are also trying to get a foot in the market with Smart TVs that incorporate TV apps.

Source: IHS Screen Digest, The Register, Bloomberg

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