×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Labor Day Is Huge for VOD Rentals Thanks to Back-to-School Trends — And Beer

On Labor Day, cinemas are usually stuck in the doldrums. This year, it’s the worst Labor Day weekend for the domestic box office in two decades.

But for VOD rentals on pay-TV providers, America’s unofficial end to summer zooms off the charts.

Over the last three years, VOD rental transactions have been approximately 100% higher on Labor Day compared with the average rate of other Mondays, according to marketing data analytics provider one2one Media. Video-on-demand customers on Labor Day are primarily women 25-54, according to one2one. The company obtains data from sources including comScore/Rentrak and more than 40 pay-TV operators.

Comcast’s own data backs up those findings: On Labor Day 2016, the cable giant’s VOD revenue was up 97% compared to other Mondays in August 2016.

What’s behind VOD’s Labor Day festivities? Here are a few reasons to explain the bump for the U.S. holiday that falls on the first Monday in September:

1. Studios don’t usually open big movies over Labor Day, while summer blockbusters are on VOD. Home-video activity in early September is likely a beneficiary of Hollywood’s release-window cycle. Studios don’t schedule tentpole releases on Labor Day weekend, because it bumps into the start of the new school year. Meanwhile, the biggest theatrical titles of the summer have now arrived on VOD: Currently, Warner Bros.’s “Wonder Woman,” the biggest movie of the summer of 2017, is now available on video-on-demand, along with Disney-Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Alien: Covenant,” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.”

2. School’s back in session. Families have often concluded their summer vacations by Labor Day, and in most areas the school year has either already started or is about to commence. That means lots of people are parked at home, with a VOD movie just a few button pushes away.

3. It’s a big drinking holiday. It’s no coincidence that New Year’s Eve is the other major day on the calendar when VOD rentals skyrocket — similarly seeing about a twofold increase in activity, according to one2one. After a few beers, it seems, people are more willing to shell out a few bucks for a VOD title.

4. Not much is happening on TV. The fall television premieres haven’t started yet, and there aren’t any major sporting events on TV aside from the U.S. Open tennis tournament (which this year features women’s and men’s singles matches in the Round of 16).

So if you’re like many Americans, today you may be filling up the cooler, lighting the grill — and firing up the VOD.

Pictured above: Verizon’s Fios current on-demand new releases movie menu.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Comcast Xfinity Flex

    Comcast Drops $5 Monthly Fee for Xfinity Flex Video-Streaming Set-Top for Broadband Customers

    Comcast will hand out one free set-top box for broadband subscribers to access Xfinity Flex, its video-streaming product for internet-only customers, as it looks to punch up the value of its high-speed internet business. Brian Roberts, Comcast’s chairman and CEO, announced the new strategy at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia conference Wednesday in New York. “One of [...]

  • Facebook Portal TV

    Facebook Announces $149 Portal TV Device, 2 New Portal Smart Displays

    Facebook wants you to put a camera into your living room: The company officially unveiled its Portal TV device Wednesday that brings video chatting, augmented reality (AR) and Facebook Watch to any TV set. In addition, the company also unveiled two new Portal smart display devices that are aggressively priced to grow the company’s home [...]

  • Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South

    Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series to Shoot in New Zealand

    Amazon Studios has set New Zealand as the location for its upcoming series production of “Lord of the Rings.” Pre-production has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. “We knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to [...]

  • Google Assistant example

    How Google Found Its Voice

    A few years back, Google was actively exploring whether it should launch a male counterpart to Amazon’s female Alexa voice assistant. “When we first launched the Google Assistant, we intended to use a male voice, just to be different,” Google Assistant product manager Brant Ward recently recalled. However, at the time, text-to-speech technology was still [...]

  • Podium Publishing Taps Scott P. Dickey

    Podium Publishing Taps Scott P. Dickey as Chief Executive Officer

    Independent audiobook publisher Podium Publishing has selected veteran media executive Scott P. Dickey as chief executive officer. Greg Lawrence, former CEO and co-founder,  remains as Podium’s publisher and a member of the board of directors. As CEO, Dickey will set and implement the day-to-day and long-term marketing, production and business strategy for the company as [...]

  • "The Stockholm Syndrome" - Pictured: Rajesh

    Inside the Blockbuster $600 Million 'Big Bang Theory' Streaming Deal With HBO Max

    As one of TV’s most popular shows of the past 20 years, “The Big Bang Theory” was sure to command a huge price when the streaming rights were finally shopped in a red-hot market for iconic comedies with large libraries. But “Big Bang Theory” wasn’t shopped widely on the open market before the streaming pact [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content