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CES: Hollywood homevid biz stable in 2012

Sales and rentals generate $18 billion

The health of Hollywood’s homevideo biz isn’t as dire as many have positioned it to be, with the industry showing growth across most categories in 2012, and sales of product still outpacing rentals.

Particularly strong were Blu-ray sales, up nearly 10%, while catalog titles saw a 25% increase in sales as more studios released older titles in their libraries on the format throughout the year.

The digital sales of films and TV shows also rose 35% during the year, to generate $812 million from services like Apple’s iTunes, Walmart’s Vudu and Amazon, while VOD rose another 11% to collect $2 billion.

Digital continues to prove a significant category for studios, with EST, subscriptions and VOD, combined, now accounting for 28% of the domestic homevid market, the DEG said, up from 19% in 2011.

Since its launch in October 2011, UltraViolet now has 9 million registered users, with adoption of the digital locker service expected to help convert more consumers from renters to buyers as they use it to store their purchases and access them using various consumer electronics devices. There are now more than 8,500 titles supported by UltraViolet from nine content providers. All of the major studios except Disney support UV.

Overall, homevid generated $18 billion in consumer sales, topping the mark for the 11th consecutive year, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, which released the year-end results Tuesday from the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas. Numbers were flat with 2011.

Among some notable results in the DEG report:

— Sales of titles, including digital, declined 2.9% during the year to earn $9.3 billion.

— The overall rental market, including VOD, was off by 6% to $6.4 billion.

— Brick-and-mortar rentals were down a staggering 24% to earn $1.2 billion, as retailers like Blockbuster continue to shutter stores.

— Kiosk rentals rose 16% to earn $1.9 billion during the year.

— And increased use of subscription-based streaming and DVD-by-mail services from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, however, saw the category grow 7.5% during the year to earn $3.6 billion, a significant sign that consumers are still looking to rent entertainment, and shows just why the studios are carefully evaluating their distribution deals and windowed releases with those companies.

Although it didn’t reveal specific sales figures, the DEG also listed “The Avengers,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I,” “Brave,” “Ted,” “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” and “Puss in Boots” as the year’s top selling home entertainment titles. Sony was the only major without a film in the top 10.

Industry org also announced that there are now 51 million U.S. homes with Blu-ray compatible players, including videogame consoles like the PlayStation 3, with that number increasing 7% in 2012.

And 39 million HDTVs were purchased in 2012, increasing the number of the sets in U.S. homes to 108.4 million.

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