Consumer Spending on Home Entertainment in 2023 Hit New High of $43 Billion

U.S. consumer spending on home entertainment in 2023 reached a new high of $43 billion, according to estimates released Feb. 6 by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

That’s up 16.8% from spending the prior year.

Subscription streaming continued to post impressive gains, rising 21% to top out at an estimated $37 billion, or more than 86% of total spending.

Of the $5.9 billion that was spent on traditional, transactional entertainment, digital sales of movies and shows fared best, rising nearly 5% to finish the year at $2.64 billion. Spending on digital purchases of theatrical titles for the year was up more than 13%, thanks to such high-profile films as Avatar: The Way of Water, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, The Equalizer 3, The Flash, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, John Wick: Chapter 4, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

Digital rentals in 2023 generated an estimated $1.69 billion in consumer spending, less than 1% more than in 2022, while the physical side of the business continued to lose ground. Combined sales and rentals of DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HDs came in at just $1.56 billion, a drop of 25.3% from the prior year.

The fourth quarter proved particularly strong, the DEG reported, with total consumer home entertainment spending rising more than 20% from the prior-year period to just over $11.7 billion.

Subscription streaming, as usual, led the way, posting a 24.5% gain to $10.15 billion.

But the digital transactional side of the business also posted healthy gains. Consumers in the fourth quarter of 2023 spent an estimated $713 million on buying movies and shows digitally in both premium and standard windows, up 7% from Q4 2022, while spending on digital rentals rose 11.5% to nearly $410 million. The gains were driven by a strong slate of theatrical movies becoming available for home viewing, with a collective box office value nearly three times as high as the Q4 2022 crop. These include Barbie, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One, Oppenheimer and The Super Mario Bros. Movie. New theatrical releases are historically a key driver of home entertainment spending.

Spending on physical media in the fourth quarter was down more than 20% to a little over $440 million, but the strong theatrical titles pushed spending on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs up an impressive 15%. Universal Pictures’ Oppenheimer 4K UHD disc, in fact, was in such high demand that several retailers reported shortages, which the studio promptly addressed.

The decline in disc spending in the fourth quarter was due largely to a drastic 50% drop in spending on rentals following Netflix’s late-September exit from the business.

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The DEG also reported that AVOD and FAST platforms in 2023 generated $17.2 billion in advertising revenue, according to estimates from Omdia, as more major streamers diversified their offerings to include lower-cost subscription plans with ads. Ad revenue grew by more than 10% in the year, according to Omdia. In the final quarter of the year, according to the research firm, revenue from AVOD and FAST was nearly $5 billion, up nearly 17% from the fourth quarter of 2022.

According to Media Play News Research estimates, of the 13.7% of the home entertainment market space still devoted to transactional viewing at the end of the year, 9.2% was from sellthrough and 4.5% was from rental (both disc and digital). Disc sales and rentals by the end of 2023 accounted for 3.6% of total home entertainment market spending, down from 5.7% at the end of 2022.

Box Office Gains Led to Second Consecutive Rise in Quarterly Digital Movie Purchases, Rentals

The box office recovery once again lifted the traditional, transactional home entertainment business in the third quarter of this year.

Digital sales of movies and shows rose 8.8% from the third quarter of last year, to $664.6 million, while digital rentals were up 2.7% to $354.6 million, according to the latest estimates from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

That’s on top of second-quarter gains of 17.4% for digital sellthrough, and nearly 4% for digital rentals, or video-on-demand (VOD).

The two robust quarters followed a weak start to the year, when combined digital movie sales and rental spending in the first quarter were down about 12% from the previous year.

As of mid-November, domestic box office spending has already surpassed the spending total for all of 2023, $7.78 billion to $7.36 billion, according to Box Office Mojo.

DEG notes that during the quarter, consumer spending on digital purchases of theatrical titles was up 13%. “Theatrical new releases are historically a key driver of home entertainment spending,” the trade group noted. “Because of this, announced delays in upcoming theatrical releases due to the Hollywood strikes may have an adverse impact in the next few

Total consumer spending on home entertainment during the quarter ended Sept. 30 came in at an estimated $10.7 billion, up 16.8% from the same quarter last year, according to DEG.

As usual, the primary driver was subscription streaming, a home entertainment category in which spending rose 20.7% to $9.3 billion, DEG said, citing Omdia data.  “Targeted and general entertainment services continued to add subscribers with new content, pricing options and ad-supported tiers,” DEG noted.

In the quarter, SVOD accounted for 87.1% of total home entertainment consumer spending.

In the first nine months of 2023, consumer spending climbed more than 15%, to an estimated $31 billion, from the first nine months of 2022.

On the physical media front, consumer spending continued to fall, with combined disc purchases and rentals generating just $363.2 million in the third quarter, down 25.1% from the third quarter of 2022. For the year, through Sept. 30, consumer spending on discs was down 27.1% to an estimated $1.12 billion.

4K UHD Blu-ray was the only segment of the physical disc business to experience growth, with spending in the quarter up nearly 6% — driven by such high-profile new releases as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
(Sony Pictures) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Disney), both of which saw more than 25% of sales come from the premium format.

In all, physical media (sales plus rentals) accounted for just 3.4% of the Q3 home entertainment market. Total transactional revenue (disc sales and rentals combined with digital sellthrough and VOD rentals) was down 4% in the quarter.

Taking SVOD out of the equation, disc still accounts for 31.3% of the sellthrough market, according to Media Play News research estimates.

Quarterly Consumer Home Entertainment Spending Surpasses $10 Billion

Consumer spending on home entertainment hit a new milestone in the first quarter of this year, crossing the $10 billion mark for the very first time.

Preliminary estimates from DEG: The Digital Entertainment put the spending total at $10.1 billion, nearly 15% more than consumer spending in the first quarter of 2022.

The gain, the DEG reported, was driven by a 22% increase in subscription streaming revenue, which grew to $8.7 billion, from $7.1 billion in Q1 2022.

Consumer spending on traditional, transactional home entertainment continued to decline, the DEG reported. Disc sales and rentals brought in just $377 million, a 27% decline from the first quarter of last year (the DEG no longer breaks out separate sales and rental totals, though data tracked by Media Play News research estimates Q1 disc sales of $293 million, down 30% from Q1 2022). Digital transactions also were down, with digital sales (electronic sellthrough) falling 12.3% to $564.4 million, from $643.6 million a year ago, and digital rentals (transactional video-on-demand, or TVOD) slipping 11.5% to $443.5 million, from $501.1 million.

The DEG noted, however, that the box office value of films released to the transactional home entertainment market in the first quarter of 2023 was up nearly 15% to $2.2 billion, which the trade group says is “a positive sign for home entertainment spending moving forward in 2023.”

Among the first quarter’s best-performing titles on the transactional front were Avatar: The Way of Water (Disney); Black Adam (Warner Bros. Discovery); Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney); Cocaine Bear (Universal); Creed III (MGM); Knock at the Cabin (Universal); A Man Called Otto (Sony); M3GAN (Universal); Plane (Lionsgate); Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Universal); Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount); and Yellowstone: Season 5 (Paramount).

AVOD and FAST content generated nearly $4.3 billion in advertising sales in the first quarter of 2023, according to estimates from Omdia, as more major streamers, including Netflix and Disney+, diversified their offerings to include lower-cost subscription plans with ads, the DEG reported. Omdia estimates ad revenue grew nearly 8% in the quarter compared with Q1 2022.

According to the DEG, “this is a marked slowdown in year-over-year growth compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2022), when growth was 22%. Macroeconomic uncertainty and a tough comparison with early 2022, when a robust post-COVID ad spend bounce-back drove gains, contributed to the relatively modest growth of streaming ad revenues in Q1 2023 over Q1 2022.”

PwC Survey: Majority of Global Consumers Cutting Non-Essential Spending

As the cost of living crisis continues to rise globally, consumers have drastically adjusted their spending behaviors, with the majority (53%) of global consumers “holding back” on non-essential spending. According to the 2023 PwC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, which captured the views of 9,180 consumers across 25 territories, 15% have stopped non-essential spending altogether.

The survey also found the majority of consumers expect to reduce their expenditure across all surveyed categories over the next six months, a significant decline since the previous pulse survey in June 2022. Industries including luxury and premium products, travel, and fashion expect to see the greatest portion of consumer spend reductions over the next six months, whereas groceries is expected to decline the least.

Consumers globally are shifting their consumption habits in-store and online as the cost of living surges and supply chain disruptions impact product availability and delivery times, according to the study. As a result, almost half (49%) say they are buying certain products when on offer/promotion, 46% are looking to retailers offering better value, 40% are using comparison sites to find cheaper alternatives, 34% are buying in bulk to save cost, and 32% are buying retailers ‘own brands’ to find savings. Demographically, Generation X is the “most-concerned” (47%) and has taken action on non-essential spend, Baby Boomers lead concerns to “some extent” (33%) while taking action, whereas Millennials lead the way when “concerned,” but not changing behavior.

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While more than half of consumers (56%) said rising prices remain the most frequently experienced issue when shopping in-store, supply chain issues also dominate, seeing larger queues and busier store locations (30%) as well as product availability (26%) impact consumer behavior. Supply chain disruptions for in-store shopping appear most prevalent for consumers in Australia (36%), the United States (35%) and India (34%). For online shoppers, rising prices (48%), product availability (24%), and longer than expected delivery times (24%) lead reported concerns.

Consumers are planning to reduce their spending across all surveyed retail categories over the next six-months, with the greatest decrease forecast in luxury/premium products or designer products (53%), travel (43%), virtual online activities (42%), and fashion — such as clothing and footwear (41%). However, there still remains an appetite for future spend, with 40% indicating they will look to treat oneself/others, whereas 39% view them as better quality. Groceries (24%) had the least reported planned spend reduction.

“The cost of living crisis is having a material impact on how consumers purchase, both in-store and online,” Sabine Durand-Hayes, global consumer markets leader at PwC France, said in a statement. “As prices rise, consumers globally are cutting back on non-essential spend, while spending more time looking for cheaper alternatives. While every industry surveyed shows an anticipated decline in spend over the next six months, we are nevertheless seeing consumers continue to prioritize products that are ethically produced and sustainable. If retailers are to thrive in this challenging macroeconomic environment and maintain consumer engagement, they must leverage and diversify their distribution channels, offer competitive pricing, invest in greater supply chain resilience, and compensate for customers’ increasing reluctance to share data online by better monitoring their customer base and loyalty programs.”

Despite a planned spend reduction and a challenging economic environment, consumers say they are still willing to pay more for sustainable product types. Overwhelmingly, more than three-fourths (78%) are willing to pay higher for a product that is produced/sourced locally, or made from recycled, sustainable or eco-friendly materials (77%), or produced by a company with a reputation for ethical practices (75%). 

In the previous pulse released June 2022, consumers’ frequency of daily/weekly shopping — which had been on an upward trajectory during the pandemic — looked to be shifting back to pre-COVID times. In this pulse, continued stability shows the majority of consumers expect little change in their shopping channel habits across online, in-store and click and collect in the next six months. In-store shopping remains largely stationary year-on-year as the most common medium of consumption in 2022 (43%), whereas use of mobiles/smartphones (34%), PCs (23%), and tablet consumption (15%) have all marginally declined. The survey finds there is a continuing trend in consumers stating they never purchase products via tablets (51%), smart home voice assistance (64%) and wearable devices (71%). These numbers are all on the rise since the last PwC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey in June 2022.

Adoption of the Metaverse as a shopping channel is still in its early stages of adoption, however the medium still remains underutilized, with only one-quarter (26%) of respondents having used the platform for entertainment, virtual experiences or purchasing products in 2022. The largest portion of these users have primarily employed the Metaverse for virtual reality (VR), i.e., playing games or watching a movie (10%), joining a virtual world, i.e., experience a retail environment or concert (9%), or purchasing a digital product, such as a Non-Fungible Token, or NFT (9%). Those most likely to engage in metaverse-related activities: India (48%), Vietnam (43%) and Hong Kong (42%), as well as Millennials (36%).

All the while, as online shopping continues to grow in volume, consumers are increasingly wary of data privacy. Almost half (47%) say they are extremely or very concerned when interacting with social media companies, third-party/portal travel websites (36%), healthcare (34%), and consumer companies (32%). Countries including India and the Philippines are most concerned across such categories. As a result, almost half (49%) say they don’t share more personal data than they have to, 32% are opting-out from receiving communications from these companies, and 26% have overall reduced their interaction with these types of companies.

“As an immersive digital platform, the Metaverse represents a significant opportunity for business transformation, particularly as a way to extend the shopping experience before and after a purchase takes place and to enhance the engagement with younger generations such as Gen Z customers, which are looking for more engaging and community connected experiences,” said Roberto Hernandez, global metaverse leader and chief onnovation officer, PwC U.S., in a statement. “At the same time, consumers are increasingly cautious of their data privacy, so retailers must ensure they are reflecting consumer attitudes in their immersive experiences if they are to see growth in online consumption.

“In the last six months, one in four consumers told us they used the Metaverse. That is an incredible number indicating that the technology is becoming a more prominent part of the consumer experience. Although macroeconomic factors in today’s marketplace may impact consumers in the short term, the future remains increasingly bright for the technology.”

PwC surveyed 9,180 consumers from Oct. 24 to Nov. 16 of 2022 via a 15-minute online quantitative survey. Interviews were conducted with consumers in 25 participating territories, and the survey was translated into 14 languages.

Study: Theatrical Movie Choices Indicate Consumer Spending Habits

Want to jumpstart the economy? Make consumers watch Paramount Pictures’ sequel Top Gun: Maverick. That’s the sentiment of new data from National CineMedia, the cinema advertising network targeting moviegoers across Regal and Cinemark screens on a weekly basis.

Its joint study with consumer purchase research firm Affinity Solutions found a predictive relationship between in-theater movie experiences and elevated consumer spend. The study entitled “Economic Impact Study: Moviegoing as an Indicator of Spend” analyzed NCM audiences of more than 8 million moviegoers per week and their spending habits using credit and debit cards.

The first part looked at the total spending by category between the months of March and June 2022. The second analyzed the specific spending habits of NCM audiences attending two of the biggest theatrical releases this year, Disney/Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Top Gun: Maverick.

Doctor Strange generated $955 million at the global box office, including $411 million across North American screens. Maverick has generated $1.48 billion globally, including more than $716 million domestically.

Doctor Strange viewers (Gen Z and millennials) spent more on flowers, jewelry, and online gaming. Maverick viewers (Gen X and Boomers) spent more on appliances and landscaping.

All moviegoers drive significant incremental spend but differ when it comes to their preferred brands. For example: Delta, T-Mobile, and McDonald’s received an incremental sales lift from attendees of Doctor Strange. Amazon, United Airlines and Disney received incremental sales lift from attendees of Top Gun: Maverick.

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Indeed, the report found that moviegoers are highly active consumers, demonstrating twice the spending compared to non-moviegoers across categories such as retail, dining, travel and automotive. Regardless of what day the attendees went to the movies, these consumers spent more at bars and restaurants and on sporting goods, apparel and digital content than those who stay home.

“The data has validated what we have always known — that moviegoers have their wallets out and are spending more than non-moviegoers, with their preferred brands,” Manu Singh, SVP of insights, analytics and sales data strategy at NCM, said in a statement.

Streaming Back to 80% of Home Entertainment Spending in Q1, DEG Says

Netflix may have taken a big hit as talk of “streaming fatigue” grow louder, but first-quarter consumer spending estimates from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group show subscription streaming demand ticked back up after a slight dip during the 2021 holiday period.

The trade group estimated just slightly more than 80% of consumer spending in the first quarter of 2022 went to SVOD services, as the total amount of money spent on subscriptions rose nearly 17% to a record $6.93 billion, up from $5.93 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

The gain lifted total consumer spending on home entertainment 10.9% to $8.7 billion, DEG reported.

The SVOD share of total home entertainment spending almost matched its all time high of 80.2% from the third quarter of 2021, a tally that dropped to 77.2% in the fourth quarter.

On the transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) front, consumer spending was down less than 2% to $1.14 billion, from $1.16 billion. Digital sales of movies, TV shows and other filmed content rose 6.7% to $643.6 million from $603.1 million, but digital rental spending fell nearly 11% to $501 million, from $561.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

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Digital purchases of theatrical movie titles increased 17.3%, fueled by “renewed box office activity,” the DEG reported.

The DEG reported it is now tracking sales and rentals of premium-window digital releases, which typically fetch a higher price.

Consumer spending on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD purchases in the first quarter of 2022 fell nearly 19% to an estimated $388.5 million, from $479.3 million, while disc rentals were down nearly 17% to $196.1 million, from $236 million in the first quarter of 2021.

Among the first quarter’s best-performing titles across transactional formats were American Underdog, Dog, Dune, Encanto, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, House of Gucci, No Time to Die, Sing 2, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Yellowstone: Season 4.

DEG: Streaming Now Accounts for 80% of Home Entertainment Spending

Consumer spending on home entertainment in the third quarter of 2021 rose to nearly $8 billion, a gain of almost 10% from the prior year’s July through September period, according to estimates released Nov. 8 by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Just over 80% of that total, or an estimated $6.4 billion, was spent on subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+.

Total spending on home entertainment for the first nine months of the year, through Sept. 30, was pegged by DEG at $23.6 billion, a year-over-year gain of more than 6%. The DEG’s report notes that this spending gain “came amid a nearly 63% drop in box office.” An estimated $18.6 billion, or 79% of total consumer home entertainment spending, came from streaming, a figure that’s up 19.5% from the first nine months of 2020.

On the transactional side, total consumer spending on disc and digital sales and rentals in the third quarter was down 13% to $1.576 billion, although for the first nine months consumer spending on physical and digital media transactions sunk more than 24% to an estimated $5 billion, compared with more than $6.6 billion in the first nine months of 2020.

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Digital sales of movies, TV shows and other filmed content came in at $557.8 million for the quarter and $1.7 billion for the first nine months of the year, down 13.5% and 24.5%, respectively, from the prior year.

Sales of DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays generated an estimated $430.5 million in the third quarter and $1.4 billion in the first nine months of 2021, down 11% and 21.6% from the comparable periods in 2020, respectively.

Digital rentals during the third quarter fell 15.3% to $388.7 million, and 28.5% to $1.3 billion year to date, with disc rental revenues down 11.7% to $198.7 million and 21.3% to $629 million during the same time frames.

According to DEG, “factors limiting growth in the first nine months of 2021 include few new theatrical releases, which are historically a key driver of home entertainment spending, particularly in the earlier part of the period. However, with pandemic conditions improving as the year progressed and theatrical releases restarting, spending on home purchases of theatrical new releases has begun to pick up. It is expected to continue in a positive direction as theatrical releases across the industry return to a typical pattern.”

The trade group noted that during the third quarter of 2021, physical media sales of new theatrical releases rose 38%, with digital sales up 73%, “according to one reporting source.”

It is important to note that DEG numbers do not include revenue from premium VOD releases, in which new films command a higher sales and/or rental price shortly after their theatrical bow, but before their traditional release to home entertainment channels. Earlier this year, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment president Michael Bonner in a DEG presentation estimated “there’s a billion dollars in consumer spending that is not captured” in the trade group’s numbers.

“And those numbers are not insignificant,” he said. “We’ve seen tremendous engagement from consumers in that product that’s made available in early windows.”

DEG: Streaming Again Triggers Surge in Consumer Home Entertainment Spending While Catalog Keeps TVOD Afloat

U.S. consumers spent an estimated $15.7 billion to watch movies, TV shows and other filmed content on home and mobile platforms in the first six months of 2021, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group reported Aug. 10.

The trade group reported the total spend was up 5.2% from the first half of 2020, when consumer spending on home entertainment was pegged at $14.9 billion.

The big winner, as expected, was subscription streaming, which posted a 21.4% gain to an estimated $12.2 billion.

The transactional segment, which includes a la carte disc and digital purchases and rentals, was down a whopping 28.7% to an estimated $3.4 billion, from $4.8 billion in the first six months of 2020.

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This reflects the pronounced lack of new product available to buy or rent in the first half of this year, when uncertainty about COVID-19 prompted the studios to hold back releases until they had more clarity. New theatrical releases, the DEG stated, have “historically [been] a key driver of home entertainment spending.” In January, virus cases were surging to record highs. Then came the vaccine and a swift drop-off in new cases, resulting in a gradual reopening of theaters. Movie houses in Los Angeles, the center of the film industry, didn’t begin to reopen until March.

Another key reason for the sharp decline in consumer transactional spending reported by the DEG is that the trade group does not track revenue generated from a premium rental or sales window that studios adopted in lieu of a theatrical release, even though this, too, is money spent on home entertainment consumption.

In a DEG presentation Universal Pictures Home Entertainment president Michael Bonner estimated “there’s a billion dollars in consumer spending that is not captured” in the trade group’s numbers.

“And those numbers are not insignificant,” he said. “We’ve seen tremendous engagement from consumers in that product that’s made available in early windows.”

Given the lack of theatrical new releases, spending on library titles “is notably strong,” the DEG stated. Over the past two years, digital catalog sales have grown at an annualized rate of 17%, a record high.

Popular catalog titles in the period included the eight “Fast & Furious” films and “The Office” TV series from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner’s “Game of Thrones” and Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection DVD and Blu-ray Disc collections, Lionsgate’s John Wick Triple Feature disc set, and Paramount Home Entertainment’s A Quiet Place and “Yellowstone” sets.

The DEG noted that the 5% increase in U.S. home entertainment spending in the first half of 2021 came amid a nearly 88% drop in box-office performance for the films released in the period, due to prolonged movie theater closures due to the pandemic.

Looking at the DEG’s defined home entertainment market that excludes PVOD revenue, subscription streaming’s share of total home entertainment revenue rose to 78% by the end of June 2021, up from a 67.6% market share a year ago.

That means that the disc market (sales and rentals) fell to 8.8% of the home entertainment picture in the first half of 2021, down from 12.4% a year ago, while transactional VOD (digital sales and rentals) was down to 13.2%, from 20% a year ago.

Disc sales on their own were down to 6% in the first half of 2021, down from 8.6% a year ago.

Among just transactional home entertainment sources, disc sales and rentals comprised 40%, up about 1.73% from a year ago, with TVOD comprising 60%.

Home Entertainment Spending in 2020 Up 21% to Record $30 Billion, DEG Says

Consumer spending on home entertainment in 2020 shot up more than 21% from the prior year to a record $30 billion, spurred by movie theater closures and stay-at-home orders brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates released Jan. 27 by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

The trade group noted that digital spending accounted for the majority of the gains, led by subscription streaming, which saw spending climb 37.2% to an estimated $21.2 billion.

Transactional video spending also posted significant increases, with digital rentals up 18.3% in 2020 over 2019 and digital sales, or electronic sellthrough (EST), up 16%. According to DEG estimates,  consumers spent more than $2.3 billion renting movies and other filmed content through digital retailers (both cable and Internet) in 2020, compared with just under $2 billion in 2019, and nearly $3 billion on purchases, up from $2.6 billion the prior year.

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Consumers spent an estimated $2.5 billion on buying Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, down 25.6% from $3.3 billion the prior year. Disc sales had been declining for years but in 2020 sales were further diluted by retail store closures in the months following the World Health Organization’s March 11 declaration of a global pandemic.

In the fourth quarter, the DEG reported, total consumer spending on home entertainment rose nearly 16% from 2019 to an estimated $7.8 billion. Again, streaming led the way, with spending up 33% to an estimated $5.6 billion, or 72% of the total.

The DEG noted that premium video-on-demand (PVOD) figures are not included in the yearly or quarterly consumer spending totals. However, the trade group stated in a press release that “early insights suggest that interest is high, and results are strong. Universal has indicated that with 18 films released on PVOD across the past 10 months, with the addition of PVOD revenues, the company generated over four times what it would have expected to earn in the traditional digital home entertainment window alone. In total, the combined in-home consumer spend on these new Universal releases on a transactional basis represented over $500 million.”

Michael Bonner, the newly appointed president of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, said in a statement, “Since the launch of PVOD, we’ve learned a tremendous amount, much of which has validated our belief that PVOD is poised to complement the theatrical business in a way that can meaningfully benefit the ecosystem across consumers, distributors and studios.”

The DEG also released the top 20 films for the year on its “Watched at Home” chart, which combines sales of physical media with digital rentals and sales.

  1. Frozen II (Disney)
  2. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony Pictures)
  3. Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  4. Joker (Warner)
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  6. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)
  7. 1917 (Universal)
  8. Scoob! (Warner)
  9. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century)
  10. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  11. Trolls World Tour (DreamWorks/Universal )
  12. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  13. Onward (Disney)
  14. Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (Warner)
  15. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  16. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  17. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  18. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Disney)
  19. Bloodshot (Sony)
  20. Midway (Lionsgate)

Tubi: 25% of SVOD Subs Have Dropped Service for AVOD

Tubi, Fox Corp.’s ad-supported VOD service, Sept. 10 released new data underscoring what it claims is a rise in popularity of so-called “free streaming” or ad-supported video-on-demand services.

Citing data from research firm OnePoll, Tubi said 25% of survey respondents have dropped a SVOD streaming service in favor of AVOD in the past few months. In addition, 37% surveyed said they would try a new streaming service with ads to discover new content. The OnePoll online survey polled 2,000 people nationwide from Aug. 7 to 12, 2020.

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San Francisco-based Tubi, which Fox acquired earlier this year for $440 million, said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused financial difficulties resulting in 33% of respondents reevaluating their subscription streaming services. To save money, 25% started a free trial and canceled it before paying the subscription fee, with the average person who employs this tactic doing so three times.

Meanwhile, 17% have shared passwords with others in order to gain access to streamers they don’t subscribe to, with 38% of respondents 18-24 and 31% of 25-34 participating in password swaps.

The survey also showed that streaming has continued to boom with social distancing practices still in place, with over half of respondents (52%) stating that they streamed more than they would in a typical summer due to stay-at-home restrictions with COVID-19. Over the past two months alone, the average person has binged four shows and watched 20 movies.

Respondents ages 25 to 34 increased their streaming the most this summer, with the average person watching an additional four hours of content a day on top of what they were watching at the start of quarantine in March or April.

Streaming has also continued to be a resource for parents with children at home, as two in five parents — nearly half — estimate that their child is streaming more now than when the pandemic started. With many activities canceled this summer because of the pandemic, a third of parents were dependent on streamers to keep their child busy. At the same time, over half (55%) think that TV has become an educational tool to keep their child learning when school is not open.

In addition, 39% of respondents are struggling to find new content on streamers, leading 35% to try a new streaming service to find different content.