With the all the news about expanding VOD solutions and new VOD platforms debuting, seemingly every day, it would be easy to think that Blu-ray and DVD as viable distribution channels for home entertainment were withering, soon to be consigned to the scrapheap of history along with buggy whips, corsets and spats.
And yet, this isn’t the case at all. One need look no further than Home Media Magazine‘s retail sales chart for the week of December 22-29, 2012 for evidence that home audiences are still BIG fans of disc-based media. Sales of both formats showed healthy gains over a year ago, with DVD up 29.8% while Blu-ray enjoyed a 53.6% jump.
That’s year-over-year, readers, not week-to-week, which means that holiday shoppers in 2012 were significantly more positive on the benefits of owning Blu-ray/DVD than they were just a year ago.
This undoubtedly contributed to the trend which brought the entertainment industry out of a 7 year decline in revenue last year, according to the LA Timesand while there are still likely to be market adjustments and continuing
evolution in the preferences and habits of consumers in 2013, I suspect this may be a key turning point.
To be sure, 2012 did not come close to the glory days of the mid-2000s, when even box-office turkeys turned profits thanks to consumers snapping up DVDs from the checkout line at Target or Best Buy. Budgets remain tight across Hollywood, and many doubt that new technology will prompt another gold rush. “Consumers are choosing different ways to watch our product, and we’re not going to see any one of them go back to historical levels,” said Dennis Maguire, Paramount Pictures’ home entertainment president. “But we’re going to look at all the different ways we deliver our entertainment and therefore different ways to measure success.”
Loyal followers of this blog will recall other posts about the continued relevance of disc-based media (check them out here and here) and I believe that the factors underpinning Blu-ray and DVD’s continued longevity continue to be true and relevant.
Consumers have spoken with their purses and wallets this holiday shopping season (including my house, which enjoyed shiny new copies of The Grinch That Stole Christmas (Karloff, not Carey), Quantum of Solace and The African Queen). Perhaps the future for disc-based media isn’t as bright as it was back in 2001-2004 (as the graph suggests), but it will certainly be bright enough for us to enjoy the best movies and shows that Hollywood has to offer.
And that’s bright enough for me.