Overall home entertainment spending by U.S. consumers climbed 11.5% in 2018 to a record $23.3 billion, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, an industry consortium.
Announcing the preliminary annual figures during CES, the DEG noted an especially strong fourth quarter, when spending increased 13% to $6.3 billion. With physical sales and rentals of DVD and Blu-ray discs continue to slide, electronic sell-through for films made up a lot of the shortfall, increasing 23% for the year, though EST for TV titles declined 5%. Despite the gains from electronic sales, when combined with packaged goods, total EST for all film and TV releases fell 5.5% to about $6.5 billion.
Citing figures from IHS Markit, the DEG estimated the total market for subscription video on demand services totaled $12.9 billion, up a healthy 30% from 2017.
Total revenue from 4K UHD content grew 70% for the year as high-end equipment continues to penetrate the overall marketplace. The DEG revealed the percentage increase and not reveal total revenue numbers given the still-modest the number of 4K UHD titles in the marketplace: 445 4K UHD Blu-ray titles and another 682 4K titles available digitally. The group said best-selling film titles released on 4K for the home in 2018 included Ready Player One and Justice League from Warner Bros.; Mission: Impossible – Fallout from Paramount; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom from Universal; Deadpool 2 from Fox; and Avengers: Infinity War from Disney.
There are now 48 million households with 4K UHD televisions, up 61% from 2017, the DEG reported, plus another 13 million homes with 4K UHD game consoles and set-top boxes, an increase of 66% from a year ago.
Figures for 2018 will be finalized once hardware manufacturers and other electronics retailers release full results for the fourth quarter, the DGA said.