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."




User Comments: 19

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Emil, your from the UK right? So's me and Leeky and personally I choose DVD's/Blu-Ray's mainly because the internet in the UK is mostly rubbish for the best part, you are either one of the rare people who can get BT or Virgin Fibre but appart from those lucky sods everyone in the country (including myself) are stuck in the ice-ages of 50+ year old BT copper lines! thats my main reason for choosing them!

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This isn't really too surprising... Streaming is far too limited at the present time, and internet speed (and quality) is often a crapshoot no matter where you are. Plus, if you tend to do things like travel internationally, you experience situations like being unable to stream outside of your home country. Want to watch a movie in the car or on a plane? Sorry, unless you want to fork out money for spotty in-plane wi-fi or put a nice dent in your wireless data cap (and often still fight with spotty reception).

Streaming is a great idea, on paper. More and more media electronics have streaming software/services built in, adding to the convenience and encouraging adoption. I use streaming often at home (Netflix and Hulu), and love the ease of use and variety available there. But only there. We're an increasingly mobile-centric society, but streaming is still a very home-centric technology, at the moment.

Arris Arris said:

I often watch movies on demand via BT Vision (our broadband is almost hitting 20mbit because we're not far from the exchange) but the HD stuff needs you to download 3 hours in advance, used to be 6. Not my definition of "on demand". Certainly needs some improvement before I'd switch to streaming, as HD streaming isn't that decent at present.

Was considering trying out LoveFilm via PS3 but I've heard their online selection is a bit limited compared to what is available by post. Been considering dumping BT Vision and just getting a FreeviewHD box for UK broadcasts, but read recently that BT is hooking up with the UK channels and putting together a new product called "Youview" ( http://www.youview.com/ ). With this on the horizon I'm tempted to wait and get a "Youview" box and skip FreeviewHD.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Plus, as TVs get bigger and cheaper the quality of your stream starts to matter. With the current streaming solutions I've seen they can't even come close the the image and sound quality of bluray movies which are anywhere from 15-30 and sometimes even 40 mbit/sec. Here's a nice list of current bluray bitrates - [link]

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

Vrmithrax said:

This isn't really too surprising... Streaming is far too limited at the present time, and internet speed (and quality) is often a crapshoot no matter where you are. Plus, if you tend to do things like travel internationally, you experience situations like being unable to stream outside of your home country. Want to watch a movie in the car or on a plane? Sorry, unless you want to fork out money for spotty in-plane wi-fi or put a nice dent in your wireless data cap (and often still fight with spotty reception).

Streaming is a great idea, on paper. More and more media electronics have streaming software/services built in, adding to the convenience and encouraging adoption. I use streaming often at home (Netflix and Hulu), and love the ease of use and variety available there. But only there. We're an increasingly mobile-centric society, but streaming is still a very home-centric technology, at the moment.

Definitely agree.

Emil said:

burty117 said:

Emil, your from the UK right?

Born in the UK, but no, I live in Canada.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Emil said:

burty117 said:

Emil, your from the UK right?

Born in the UK, but no, I live in Canada.

Good guess though!

isamuelson isamuelson said:

Plus, with streaming, depending on whether it's Netflix or if you purchased it via something like Amazon video-on-demand, with a DVD, I don't have to keep paying for it everytime I want to watch it. Plus, many streaming services do NOT offer the special features you get with dvd/blu-ray.

I know that you do get special features with various iTunes purchases and Amazon offers some special features as well, but still, with Blu-Ray, you can get a lot more features than what streaming can offer.

Plus, if for some awful reason, my internet goes down, I can't watch my movie!

Streaming has its place and for many, it's nice if you don't want to have to search for the movie in your collection or if you don't have it and want to "rent" it to see if it's worth purchasing.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Redbox, one dollar DVD rentals. And you want to stream why? Oh wait, it's just such a hassle to drive a mile then have the car carry that big, heavy DVD home.

Plus they have Blu-ray and no data cap.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I think streaming movies is pretty much my last choice in terms of how I would watch one, free or paid.

Guest said:

agree'd, no data caps for true 1080p goodness. The streaming content cannot compete with that. Although on netflix I do enjoying watching old movies that will never look as good as the original even if it streams at 1080.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

captaincranky said:

Redbox, one dollar DVD rentals. And you want to stream why? Oh wait, it's just such a hassle to drive a mile then have the car carry that big, heavy DVD home.

Plus they have Blu-ray and no data cap.

Yep, Redbox wins for me, usually. I have 4 of them within 1/2 mile of my house, and 3 near work, so picking up and dropping off is never an issue for me.

I tend to use Netflix streaming for older movies, TV shows, etc. That's one area that streaming is pretty handy, you can have a much larger library of older media at your fingertips.

tonylukac said:

I'm a mathematician, so let's do the math. People watch 4 hours a week, so that's 2 dvds a week, or 9 a month. To rent them at redbox cost $1 each, thus $9 for the month if they aren't bluray. My 700k dsl connection is $15 a month, not capable of streaming. To get cable internet, it's $70 in my area standalone, so $55 additional for streaming. Add to that the $10 or so netflix subscription and you get and additional $54 a month in order to stream. See the logic? I'll goto redbox, thank you. They even have bluray for $1.50. I can even get older movies at the library for free for a week's rental. FInally, there's the occasional viewer who might watch a movie only once in a while. Who wants all this overhead? I spend my time reading Techspot, not watching movies.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

I hope this trend continues so that we'll have the option of renting or buying optical media well into the future. Even if at some point in the future HD streaming could match the quality of Blu-Ray you still lose all the features of phsical media; menus, picture in picture commentary, extra content, etc. The movie studios would love to see everyone jump on board with streaming so that eventually they will be able to charge for every single viewing of a movie ... IMHO this is their long term goal.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The movie studios would love to see everyone jump on board with streaming so that eventually they will be able to charge for every single viewing of a movie ... IMHO this is their long term goal.
IMO, there are a whole lot of people in the world stupid enough to walk right into the trap.

"If DVDs are outlawed, then only outlaws will have DVDs"! (To pinch a phrase).

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

IMO, there are a whole lot of people in the world stupid enough to walk right into the trap.

"If DVDs are outlawed, then only outlaws will have DVDs"! (To pinch a phrase).

My Latin is rusty, what does your sig say? Those who are about to be insulted, I salute you?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Bingo....!

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Knew that year wasn't wasted. In reply I say, cave canem.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

An then there's this......

Cave Canem Foundation is an American 501(c)(3) organization established to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in Master ...
(@Wikipedia)? A little googling is a dangerous thing. [link]

In my own fractured, piecemeal, look it up as you go, Latin, I probably would have gone with,"cave canis". Or would that have been too obvious?

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