May 6, 2019
Two of the five major studios have quietly changed the names of their home entertainment divisions.
Paramount Pictures is once again using Paramount Home Entertainment, after several years of operating as Paramount Home Media Distribution.
And Walt Disney Studios’ home entertainment arm is now known as Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International.
Originally, studios used the “home video” moniker for their home entertainment units, but then the launch of DVD shifted consumer habits away from renting video cassettes at dedicated video rental stores. Instead, consumers were buying discs — priced low for initial sale, unlike VHS cassettes — at large mass merchants and consumer electronics stores such as Walmart and Best Buy.
Soon, “home video” divisions became “home entertainment” business units, in the belief that “video” was a throwback to the old mom-and-pop video stores, which were rapidly closing up as the business shifted. Even Blockbuster Video became Blockbuster Entertainment, while trade publication Video Store Magazine in 2004 became first Home Media Retailing and then Home Media Magazine.