Uh-oh. You know how online movies are always being held up as the pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow? How downloading movies, or streaming them over the internet, will more than make up for dwindling DVD revenue? Well, London-based consultancy Screen Digest has downgraded its digital film sales forecasts by one third.
The consultancy, whose forecasts all the Hollywood studios subscribe to, has slashed its digital film revenue estimate from $1.5 billion in 2014 to $943 million.
It seems we’re just not as keen to watch movies on PCs and on our Xboxes as Hollywood wants us to be.
Alarm bells rang when last year’s digital film sale revenue was off by 19%. Screen Digest had predicted $360 million in sales. The reality was $291 million. This is the first time that Screen Digest has restated its forecasts for the sector since 2006.
Senior analyst Arash Amel tells me that 2009’s results hide a more troubling figure. The drop off in interest in downloading movies to own is even steeper. The consultancy expected DTO to generate $250 million last year. Now it believes the industry struggled to pass $199 million. Amel says, “Download-to-own has always been seen as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, just out of reach. Well, that pot of gold is fading.”