DVDs, Blu-rays still more popular than streaming

By on April 19, 2011, 7:00 AM
Consumers are still choosing DVDs and Blu-ray Discs (BDs) to watch movies over all other digital video options combined. Over the past three months, 77 percent of consumers reported watching a movie on a DVD or BD and they did so for an average of four hours per week. Both numbers are unchanged from the prior year. By comparison, 68 percent watched a movie on a TV or cable network channel, 49 percent at a theatre, and 21 percent paid for video on demand through their TVs.

The data comes from The NPD Group, which asked 9,636 US consumers to complete an online consumer tracking study conducted last month. The final survey data was weighted to represent US Web users aged 13-years-old and up, and was tested for statistical significance at a 95 percent confidence level.

When asked about their recent spending on home video, consumers reported that 78 percent of their home video budgets went to the purchase and rental of a DVD or a BD, including online and in-store retail purchases and rentals. 15 percent was spent on video subscription services like Netflix that offer a mix of physical and streaming rentals, while the remaining 8 percent comprised of digital video downloads, paid streaming, paid transactional video on demand, and pay per view.

Of course, this isn't particularly accurate given that video subscription services are significantly cheaper than purchasing or renting physical media, especially when the numbers are scaled. That being said, overall per-capita spending on home video fell by 2 percent, which could be attributed to a very slow shift away from DVDs and BDs.

"With the well publicized struggles of Blockbuster and retail video stores closing around the country, and with media attention increasingly focused on the newest digital home-video offerings, the value and importance of physical formats to the home video industry and to consumers is often overlooked," Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group, said in a statement. "Even though DVD sales and rentals are slowing, there is no evidence that consumers are abandoning physical discs for watching movies, even as the choices for viewing are expanding. We expect strong growth from many digital sectors, driven by connected devices, improving selection, and the consumer's endless quest for convenience. For now, though, physical discs continue to lead overall engagement and spending by home video viewers; and even with increasing use of VOD and other digital formats, the primacy of DVD and Blu-ray in home video will continue for the foreseeable future."

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