Consumer spending for home entertainment either improved slightly in 2016, or fell at an accelerating rate, depending on how you want to tally the year-end data out today from the Digital Entertainment Group.
The industry organization includes streaming services such as Netflix, but historically hasn’t included some of its closest competitors such as premium cable channels HBO and Showtime. Subscription streaming spending was up 22.6% in 2016 to $6.23 billion.
With that included, DEG figures consumers spent $18.28 billion in 2016, up 1.4% vs 2015 which was up 0.7% from the previous year.
Some analysts say that the subscription streaming sales should not be included in the total.
If you take it out of the equasion, then spending for the year was down 7.0% to $12.05 billion. That shows an accelerating fall from 2015 when consumers spent $12.95 billion on home entertainment, down 6.4% vs 2014.
The data show DVD and other packaged good sales falling 9.5% in 2016 to $5.49 billion while brick and mortar rentals dropped 20.6% to $489.6 million, subscription rentals fell 16.9% to $547.6 million, and kiosk rentals fell 17.2% to $1.43 billion.
Electronic sell through increased 5.4% to $2.0 billion, while VOD spending was up 5.5% to $2.08 billion.
DEG notes that about 10 million 4K Ultra HD TVs shipped last year, a number that’s expected to hit 30 million this year. In addition, consumers now can buy as many as 110 4K Ultra HD titles, which could grow to 250 titles in 2017.
But the quarterly numbers suggest that home entertainment spending continues to weaken. Even with subscription services in the total, the industry generated $5.22 billion. That’s down 1.3% from the same period last year, which was up 1.1% vs 2014.
Without subscription services, consumers spent $3.52 billion in the quarter. That’s down 10.7% from the period last year, which was down 4.6% vs. 2014.