Research: MOD One of the Leading Trends in 2018

Manufacture-on-demand, MOD for short, is on a roll.

MOD discs differ from traditional DVD and Blu-ray releases in that they are only produced on demand for customers, rather than pressed in bulk. The distribution process allows content owners to do away with storing inventory.

In 2018, manufacture-on-demand (MOD) DVD skus surpassed those that were traditionally manufactured, and it looks like it’s the first time that has happened (though 2017 data is still coming in).

That’s according to Ralph Tribbey, editor of The DVD Release Report. Tribbey, via his report, has tracked statistics in the disc industry for more than two decades.

Through Dec. 21, there were roughly 4,900 MOD DVD skus versus 4,700 that were traditionally manufactured.

It’s just one of the trends Tribbey has noted in 2018.

Blu-ray MOD disc skus also grew. Through Dec. 21, there were 755 such skus (versus 1,956 traditionally made), compared to a bit over 500 BD MOD skus in 2017.

“That’s a pretty significant jump,” Tribbey said.

He attributes that growth to the fact that most players sold these days are Blu-ray players, and even independent suppliers, who often take advantage of MOD, are choosing to move to that format because of the players’ ubiquity.

The move to MOD is in part being driven by the major studios, Tribbey said.

“The studios have all but given up on catalog,” he said.

That has left an open market in catalog for independents — and for disc pirates.

“The piracy has completely run amok [on disc],” Tribbey said. “The major studios are so in love with digital that they’re not even looking at what the pirates are doing. I’ve never seen it like this.”

Noting the comeback made by CDs and vinyl in the audio market, Tribbey said video discs (DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray) are far from dying. In fact, the number of skus is approaching the previous high point of more than 15,000 in 2006, the launch year of Blu-ray. It’s a different mix, with more direct-to-video, religious and special interest titles, but the disc format is still going strong.

“The format’s not going away,” Tribbey said.

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