Analyst: Coronavirus Pandemic Could Hurt Disc Sales

On the heels of Netflix adding nearly 16 million subscribers in 90 days and increased transactional VOD sales, consumer migration toward digital distribution during the coronavirus pandemic is undisputed.

New data from London-based GlobalData suggests shutdowns in the economy worldwide, including many retailers, has undermined sales of packaged media, including DVD and Blu-ray Disc as consumers question discretionary spending on home entertainment.

“It is clear streaming services are becoming integral to consumers’ lives and the numerous lockdowns across the world are encouraging people to spend more time in front of the TV or on a laptop,” analyst Zoë Mills said in a statement.

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Mills said increased streaming video could have a detrimental impact on the sales of DVDs for retailers not only during the lockdown but after as well as consumers are tied to these subscriptions and have less of a reason to purchase a physical movie.

Specifically, Mills said the home video market would be undermined by the lack of new releases driven by pushbacks and delays of theatrical titles by studios. The analyst cited the newest James Bond movie with Daniel Craig, No Time to Die, which saw its theatrical release delayed from April to November — if not longer. The postponement means the packaged-media release won’t happen until 2021.

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“Previous James Bond releases have offered a boost in retail sales and while this will instead be felt in 2021, for retailers already in trouble, with no notable releases this year, 2021 may be too far away,” Mills said.

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