Streaming video sales surpass DVDs/Blu-rays for the first time

Revenue in the US from subscriptions to digital streaming services (such as Netflix) has finally surpassed those of DVDs and Blu-rays for the first time. That’s according to a survey by the Digital Entertainment Group, an entertainment industry trade group. In 2016, streaming video revenues rose 23% (over 2015) to $6.23 billion.

Across the board, all digital video sales rose in 2016. Meanwhile, revenues from all physical media formats declined. The infographic below has some details.

Infographic: Netflix & Co. Surpass DVD & Blu-ray Sales | Statista
Infographic by Statista (CC BY-ND)

While much has been written about DVDs’/Blu-rays’ supposed demise, DVDs and Blu-rays are still the most popular home video format for purchases.

If wondering, “electronic sell-through” refers to sales of digital video files through services like iTunes, Google Play, and so forth. As I wrote last year, sales of those don’t seem to have taken off the same way Netflix has. Still, they’re rising gradually. Digital videos now outsell kiosk disc rentals (i.e., RedBox). The same goes for video on demand (which would include digital video rentals). Assuming similar rates of growth/decline, digital video sales should surpass all the physical video rental services combined before long. It’ll be awhile before they eclipse DVD/Blu-ray sales, however.

Netflix still offers its DVD rental service, which might account for most of that half a billion dollar figure. While it’s a dwindling part of its business, it’s apparently still profitable (for now).

Finally, there’s a few brick-and-mortar video rental shops still around, even with the demise of Blockbuster.

Do any of you buy or rent digital videos, or just stick with DVDs/streaming?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *