Blu-ray Mints Green for Studios in First Quarter

Overall homevideo industry grows during first three months of 2013, driven by 'Skyfall,' 'Wreck-It-Ralph'

Hollywood’s homevideo industry saw sales rise 5% during the first three months of the year, as consumers bought more Blu-rays.

DVD and Blu-ray disc sales, rentals, digital downloads and subscriptions to streaming services generated $4.7 billion for the biz, according to research released by the Digital Entertainment Group.

Big sellers during the period included Sony’s James Bond actioner “Skyfall” and Disney’s toon “Wreck-It-Ralph.” New titles grew 12% during the quarter.

Studios see the uptick in sales as a signal that the industry is stabilizing after watching revenue from DVD, once the industry’s cash cow, decline over the past several years. Overall industry was flat last year with 2011 at $18 billion.

Among DEG’s findings for the first quarter:

  • Blu-ray sales rose 37%, boosting physical disc sales by 2.1% to $2.1 billion. Demand for older catalog titles on Blu-ray rose 16% compared to the first quarter of 2012.
  • The electronic sell-thru category was up 51.5%, earning $231.2 million. Category now represents 4.9% of homevid sales, with studios attributing the growth to consumer adoption of UltraViolet.
  • Subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix rose 29% to $709.6 million.
  • Video-on-demand was up 15.7% to $614.9 million.
  • Disc rentals were down nearly 12% to $1.04 billion.
  • Nearly 60% of U.S. homes now have a device in their homes that can play a Blu-ray disc. Consumers bought 3.2 million Blu-ray devices during the first quarter.
  • And consumers bought 9.4 million HDTVs. There are now 112.6 million HDTV households in the U.S.

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