Hollywood continued to have a slipped disc problem in 2014: Consumer spending for home video dropped slightly after two years of relatively flat sales according to data out today from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Buyers spent $17.8 billion to buy or rent videos last year, a 1.8% drop from 2013. That follows declines of 0.2% in 2013 and 0.5% in 2012.
Last year’s numbers show that the growth in Electronic Sell-Through (EST) and subscription streaming at sites such as Netflix was not enough to offset the continuing fall in disc sales and rentals — and a drop in VOD, which had been growing.
DVD and Blu-ray sales at $6.93 billion fell 10.9% (vs an 8.1% drop in 2013). Subscription disc rentals at $829.7 million were down 18.3% (vs. -19.3%). And rentals from brick and mortar stores at $696.4 million fell 27.1% (vs. -21.4%). The drop in kiosk rentals, overwhelmingly from Redbox, also accelerated: Sales amounted to $1.81 billion in 2014, off 4.4% vs the 2.2% slide in 2013.
Consumers continued to warm to non-disc entertainment. EST sales at $1.55 billion were +30.4%, a slowdown from 2013’s +47.1%. Subscription streaming at $4.01 billion was +25.8% (vs +33.2%). But VOD outlays at $1.97 billion were down 6.7% following a 4.8% increase in 2013.
DEG says the results are “good” as consumers “embraced the convenience and accessibility of purchasing and collecting digital content, while studios reaped higher margins from these digitial sales.” EST sales of theatrical new releases were up more than 60% helped by titles including Frozen, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Lego Movie, Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, and Guardians Of The Galaxy. The industry group also says that the number of UltraViolet accounts grew over 30% to more than 21 million.