×

Digital Sales Show Biggest Home Entertainment Gains in 2013

Digital is helping widen the gap between purchases and rentals for Hollywood homevideo divisions

Hollywood’s home video industry showed significant signs of growth in several categories in 2013, with digital sales of movies and TV shows, in particular, growing by nearly 50% last year.

The industry has rallied around the Digital HD brand to move more titles through e-tailers before the titles bow on DVD or Blu-ray, and the move generated nearly $1.2 billion in revenue from digital sales last year, topping the $1 billion mark for the first time, according to the Digital Entertainment Group.

The figure still trails VOD, which grew nearly 5% to $2.1 billion. But studios have reason to be upbeat after having looked for ways to convert more consumers from renters to buyers.

SEE ALSO: Why Hollywood’s Experiencing a ‘Digital Renaissance’ with Digital HD

Overall, the home entertainment industry saw a slight uptick in sales of 0.72% to $18.2 billion for 2013.

Digital is clearly helping widen the revenue gap between the sale and rental of titles, with purchases at nearly $9 billion versus $6.1 billion for rentals in 2013, according to the DEG.

“Despicable Me 2,” “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Skyfall,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Monsters University,” “Iron Man 3,” “Man of Steel,” and “The Croods” were among the year’s top-selling movies on home video. The DEG did not break out the top TV titles.

The annual results helped studios stabilize the homevid sector for a second straight year, as consumers are embracing digital platforms, including new ones like Comcast’s new store through its cable boxes and Target’s Target Ticket, along with next-generation videogame consoles from Microsoft and Sony, which were designed as entertainment hubs.

More digital purchases should also help grow UltraViolet, now counting 15 million accounts to use the digital storage locker.

Although the DEG didn’t break out unit sales, spending on Blu-ray discs rose 5% during the year, it said. Still, disc sales declined 8% to $7.8 billion, due to the continued decline of DVD.

There are now more than 72 million U.S. homes with Blu-ray compatible devices.

On the rental side, retail outlets were dragged down by the demise of Blockbuster, with sales off 14% to $1 billion.

SEE ALSO: How Fitting: ‘This Is the End’ the Last Movie Rented from Blockbuster

Kiosks also declined by 1% to $1.9 billion.

Streaming-based subscription services rose a whopping 32% to nearly $3.2 billion in 2013, boosting mostly Netflix’s bottom line. When including disc-by-mail, the category rose 14.5% to nearly $4.2 billion.

Total rental revenue, including VOD, came in at $6 billion, off 5% for the year.

Consumers also purchased more than 38 million HDTVs in 2013, with HDTV penetration now at more than 96 million U.S. households.

More Digital

  • Cash and Maverick Baker

    TikTok Stars Cash and Maverick Baker Sign With Shots Studios

    Cash and Maverick Baker, teen-brother digital influencers and musicians with big followings on the TikTok short-video social app, have signed with management company Shots Studios, whose talent roster also includes Lele Pons. Born and raised in Henryetta, Okla., the Baker brothers run a joint TikTok account (with 7 million followers) where they post comedy, lip-sync [...]

  • Redbox Free Live TV

    Why Redbox Is Moving Into Free, Ad-Supported Streaming Video

    Redbox, best known for its network of fire-engine-red DVD-rental kiosks, has thrown its hat into the free-TV ring — with an ad-supported service that looks a lot like ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV. The company’s Redbox Free Live TV service, which soft-launched earlier this month, is now available nationwide as of Tuesday (Feb. 18). Like Pluto TV’s [...]

  • Erika North

    Erika North Joins Amazon Studios in Asia (EXCLUSIVE)

    Seasoned Asian TV production executive, Erika North has joined Amazon as head of Asia-Pacific Originals at Amazon Studios. North’s LinkedIn profile was updated to show her new status since February. North did not respond to  enquiries, but an Amazon source with knowledge of the situation told Variety that she took up the role from Tuesday. [...]

  • HQ Trivia

    HQ Trivia Lives? CEO Claims He's Found Potential Buyer for Live Game-Show App

    Hold the phone, HQties — there might be a second act for HQ Trivia. The once-buzzy live game-show app, whose audience had declined after peaking two years ago, shut down last week after the company ran out of money and a deal to sell it fell through. Now Rus Yusupov, CEO of parent company Intermedia [...]

  • Dolan Twins

    Dolan Twins to Launch Their First Podcast (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Dolan Twins, sibling digital influencers who have a combined following of more than 50 million across internet platforms, are set to launch their first podcast: “Deeper With The Dolan Twins.” The new weekly podcast from 20-year-old Ethan and Grayson Dolan is being produced under an exclusive pact with Cadence13, a division of Entercom Communications’ [...]

  • Justin Bieber Changes album cover

    Following Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber Track Is Latest to Highlight Online Marketplace

    A shout-out on social media from Justin Bieber has brought some additional shine to Splice Sounds, the popular platform for rights-cleared sounds and beats. The track “Running Over,” from Bieber’s album “Changes” and featuring Lil Dicky, was produced by The Audibles and is based on a loop created by British artist Laxcity and uploaded to Splice. [...]

  • LadBaby at Abbey Road Studio, London,

    Facebook Leans on Local Creators to Grow Watch and Hit New Target Areas

    As Facebook leans into sports, non-scripted and select scripted properties, it’s increasingly looking to an army of creators rather than A-list celebrities to tap into all three target areas as they grow businesses on the Watch platform. Facebook’s newly appointed head of entertainment media partnerships for Northern Europe Anna Higgs tells Variety, “The Watch strategy [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content