×

Home Entertainment Customers Back in Buying Mode

Blu-ray Disc sales up 35% in quarter; digital download spending rises nearly 9%

Is the buying bug once again biting consumers of home entertainment?

Consumers spent 4% more on buying movies and other content on disc as well as digitally in the second quarter of this year than they did in the second quarter of 2015, according to numbers released today by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Disc sales, which for years have been declining virtually every quarter, rose 3% to $1.2 billion, buoyed by a 35% increase in Blu-ray Disc sales.

Electronic sellthrough, also known as “Digital HD,” rose 8.7% to $466 million in the quarter, up from $429 million in the comparable period a year ago.

Total consumer spending on home entertainment purchases is estimated at $1.67 billion for the three-month period that ended June 30, a healthy increase of 4.5% from $1.59 billion in the same period last year.

Ron Sanders, president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution, notes that the box office value of movies that came to the home market during the quarter was up 18% from the previous year’s quarter.

Observers say the launch in March of Ultra HD Blu-ray also may have been a factor. Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc is the next-generation disc format with four times the pixel density of HD Blu-ray as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR), with greater contrast and deeper, more life-like colors. The format got off to a successful start in the first quarter of this year, with the first volley of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs hitting stores in March and selling far better than expected, according to studio executives.

Popular on Variety

The format’s launch was even more successful than regular Blu-ray Disc back in 2006.

According to DEG, 1.4 million 4K Ultra HD TVs were sold in the U.S. market in the second quarter of this year, up 119% from the second quarter of 2015 and bringing the total number of sets purchased to more than eight million.

More than 45 Ultra HD Blu-ray title releases were available in the first half of the year, with impressive sales of about 288,000 units.

Total home entertainment spending rose 6% in the second quarter, to an estimated $4.33 billion, up from $4.08 billion in the April-to-June period in 2015.

Subscription streaming, led by Netflix, continued its explosive growth, with estimated consumer spending jumping 20.6% to $1.5 billion, up from $1.25 billion in the year-ago quarter. Traditional video rental, at brick-and-mortar stores, fell by a similar percentage, coming in at just $122.9 billion, a 21% decline.

Kiosk rental revenue, reflecting the recent woes of market leader Redbox, was pegged by DEG to be down 13% for the quarter, to an estimated $380 million.

Video-on-demand, the other digital component (in addition to streaming and Digital HD), posted a 7.2% gain in consumer spending, to $518 million.

For the first six months of the year, consumer spending on home entertainment is up nearly 2%, according to DEG estimates, at $8.89 billion, compared to $8.7 billion in the first six months of 2015.

More Digital

  • Zombies 2 Disney Channel

    How Disney Channel's 'Zombies 2' Production Team Made Monsters Kid-Friendly

    Traditionally spooky creatures like zombies and werewolves get the Disney treatment in “Zombies 2,” the follow-up to the 2018 hit TV-movie musical of the same name. While the undead have now assimilated into the community of Seabrook, they’re confronted by a new set of outsiders: werewolves. Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly return as Zed and [...]

  • BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday

    BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist Rebrand

    Spotify has launched a global rebrand of its popular New Music Friday playlist, which this week features BTS, The Weeknd, Noah Cyrus, Trippie Redd, Kenny Chesney, Rei Ami and others. The revamped playlist, which has 43 versions worldwide, has more than 3.5 million followers in the US and eight million globally. New elements include a [...]

  • The Witcher - Netflix

    'The Witcher' Season 2 Production Starts in U.K., Adds Seven to Cast Including 'Game of Thrones' Star Kristofer Hivju

    Production on fantasy epic “The Witcher” Season 2 has commenced in the U.K., with a planned launch in 2021, Netflix announced. The show also announced seven new cast members joining “The Witcher” for S2, including Kristofer Hivju, the Norwegian actor who played the red-bearded wilding leader Tormund Giantsbane on “Game of Thrones.” Netflix last month [...]

  • Disney Plus - Vizio

    Disney Plus Is Now on Vizio Smart TVs in Native App

    Disney Plus is available on Vizio’s SmartCast TV platform as a built-in app, making the Mouse House’s subscription-streaming service accessible directly to users of the manufacturer’s 13 million SmartCast-enabled televisions. Previously, Vizio users have been able to stream Disney Plus on SmartCast TVs through Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. But with the Disney Plus update, [...]

  • Best Picture Black Panther

    'Black Panther' Is Leaving Netflix to Come to Disney Plus

    Marvel’s blockbuster “Black Panther” is rolling off Netflix in the U.S. on March 3, 2020 — after which Wakanda fans will be able to stream the movie the next day on Disney Plus. The migration of “Black Panther,” one of the top-grossing superhero films to date, from Netflix to Disney Plus comes as Disney winds [...]

  • GoNoodle I Used a Comma

    Can GoNoodle Climb to the Kid-Media Big Leagues?

    If you’re a parent of grade-school kids in America, the odds are good your tykes know about GoNoodle’s upbeat music and exercise videos, designed to get them up on their feet and moving around. But GoNoodle doesn’t have the same brand recognition as, say, Disney or Nickelodeon — and KC Estenson wants to change that. [...]

  • Friends TV Series

    'Friends' DVD, Digital Sales Soar as It Takes a Break From Streaming

    They’re on a streaming break — but “Friends” will still be there for you. WarnerMedia’s home entertainment division is aiming to capitalize on the brief disappearance of the hit sitcom from streaming video on demand, as fans look for other ways to get their “Friends” fix. Repeats of the wildly popular laffer, which ran for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content