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Digital movie sales soar past DVD/Blu-ray in 2020

28 Aug 2020 | Rasmus Larsen |

While the box office and disc sales decreased in the first half of 2020 that was heavily impacted by the pandemic, demand for digital home entertainment soared, according to the DEG.

The decline of discs

In Q2 2020, US home entertainment spending was $7.94 billion. For the first half of 2020 it was $15.1 billion, meaning that US home entertainment now far surpasses revenue from the US box office, which came in at $4.64 billion (-8.7%). In the first half of 2020, digital movie sales, or EST, ($1.61 billion) also soared past DVD/Blu-ray sales ($1.275) for the first time in the US. The difference is even more pronounced if you include digital rentals (VOD) and physical rentals in the figures; $2.98 billions for digital versus $1.85 billion for discs. The new digital PVOD (Premium VOD) category, with in-home premieres like Trolls World Tour, is not included in the figures either. The shift was bound to happen soon or later as the US market for DVD/Blu-ray discs has been decimated from more than $10 billion in annual sales in 2014, contracting by double digits every year.

Digital takes over

Driving the trend were stay-at home orders, demand for theatrical releases, and early releases, explained DEG (Digital Entertainment Group). VOD (video on demand) and EST (electronic sell-through) combined soared 54% in Q2 2020 versus Q2 2019. This covers movies purchased or rented though digital storefronts such as iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu. Subscription streaming services such as Disney+ and Netflix soared 42% year-over-year. With $5.54 billion in quarterly revenue, subscription streaming revenue now surpasses all other segments of home entertainment combined by a factor of two. Digital entertainment has taken over and many industry observers expect the trend to continue as Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+ and new entrants like Peacock and HBO Max continue to expand.

2020 US home entertainment

- Source: DEG (2)

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