The global home entertainment market has surged in recent years. DVD/Blu-ray sales are down, streaming services are way up, and theaters are struggling.
Rewind. Just 6 years ago, the market looked very different. DVD/Blu-ray sales exceeded streaming revenue, and the theatrical market share surpassed 50%.
That is according to the annual Theme reports from the Motion Picture Association (MPA). 'Home entertainment' includes DVD/Blu-ray sales and rentals as well as various forms of streaming services (sport excluded). TV channels and bundles are excluded ($233.1 billion annually).
Streaming services started to grow rapidly in the 2010's, which affected sales of DVD/Blu-ray discs. Theaters around the world have experienced a drop in attendance but rising ticket prices have led to higher revenue. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation.
- "Ultimately, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated and intensified changes that were already occurring across the industry. Home entertainment was already an emerging force, with studios from Sony Pictures to Paramount supplying significant amounts of content for their own or other streaming platforms. Over the past year, Peacock, Disney+, HBO Max, and Netflix have all enabled broader for creators and an even greater choice for consumers, and Paramount+ has joined the ranks," said Charles H. Rivkin, Chairman and CEO, MPA.
The pandemic hit theaters hard in 2020, leading to an extraordinary 72% drop in revenue compared to 2019, whereas it provided streaming services with a further boost. There are now over 1.1 billion streaming subscriptions worldwide, notes MPA.
Home entertainment sales grew 31% in 2020 versus 2019, but MPA has down-revised its 2019 figures somewhat compared to last year's report. Since 2015, the home entertainment market has almost doubled.
It is worth noting that PVOD (premium VOD, movie premieres at home) sales are not included in the figures at this time. Universal has said that its PVOD sales exceeded $500 million in 2020 in the US alone.
$80 billion total market
Despite a surging home entertainment segment, the total market still fell 18% in 2020 (versus 2019) due to the situation on the theatrical market. Combined sales reached $80.8 billion dollars worldwide last year, said MPA.
Home entertainment had a 85.1% market share while theatrical had 14.9%. 2021 will be another challenging year for theaters worldwide although many observers expect revenue to increase compared to 2020.
- "While we do not know what form our future success will take, what is clear is that our audiences want to watch stories in almost any form. Innovation will help us meet those audiences where they are, and help restore the vibrant creativity that fuels our industry. As those signs of recovery continue to emerge around the world, I am confident we won't just be enjoying triumphant comebacks on our screens. We'll be living them," said Charles H. Rivkin.
- Source: MPA