SVOD Driving Danish Home Entertainment Market

Consumer spending in Denmark’s home entertainment market grew 7% in 2018 to DKK 10.21 billion ($1.53 billion) — driven by over-the-top video, transactional VOD and EST growth, according to new data from Futuresource Consulting.

SVOD (i.e. Netflix) spending grew more than 30% and is expected to DKK 2 billion mark by the end of 2019, accounting for more than 20% of total video entertainment consumer spend.

“Subscriptions grew 25% in 2018 to 2.1 million, with three services gaining 100,000 or more subscribers,” analyst Tanzim Rahman said in a statement. “SVOD consumer spend nearly doubl[ed] between 2016 and 2018 … growing by DKK 852 million. SVOD accounts for the majority of total growth in the entertainment market over the same period, which saw revenue rise by DKK 1.2 billion.”

Futuresource said SVOD in Denmark continues to benefit from a competitive landscape, with an attractive range of services from global players Netflix and HBO to local offerings from Viaplay and TV2 Play, with Netflix leading the market with 39% of subscriptions in 2018.

Streaming services are supported by a strong broadband environment, with average speeds of 39 Mbps and household broadband penetration at 83%.

As a result, Denmark saw a total of 1.2 million households subscribing to at least one SVOD service, leading to household penetration of 46% in 2018 — on par with the Nordic region average, which led European penetration rates in 2018.

Futuresource contends the transactional video market across both digital and physical formats is expected to decline by 2% to DKK 554 million, with the physical market declining DKK 57 million. However, from 2019 the transactional segment is expected to see a return to growth, propelled by a progressive EST sector, which will grow 31% to DDK 163 million.

Transactional digital video growth accelerated in 2018 to 16%, with total spend reaching DKK 349 million, although this is just 20% of the SVOD market.

A solid year of EST growth meant that revenue increased 38% to DKK 124 million, doubling since 2016, and accounted for 35% of the 2018 transactional digital market.

“Growth in EST has been driven by Viaplay and Google Play, although iTunes still dominates the market, taking a 57% share of spend,” Rahman said. “Apple have signed agreements with major TV manufacturers and is expected to consolidate its position over the coming years and help further stimulate the market.”

Transactional VOD continues to grow, but at a slower pace than EST, with spend increasing 18% to DKK 96 million in 2019 — and an average of 16% annually through 2023.

FandangoNow to Offer Imax Movies in the Home

FandangoNow Jan. 7 announced it will be the first U.S. digital retailer for Imax movies releasing to home video. FandangoNow will have exclusive rights as the sole transactional VOD service to feature this content in the U.S. through 2019.

The move is part of a significant expansion of Imax Enhanced, a certification and licensing program that combines consumer electronics with Imax digitally re-mastered 4K HDR content and DTS audio technologies to offer consumers the next generation of immersive sight and sound experiences for the home.

Imax and DTS created the platform out of their combined expertise in immersive image and sound technology development to enable consumers to select consumer electronics and content for home viewing that deliver the highest quality and sharpest 4K HDR images, along with powerful, immersive sound.

Several companies, including consumer electronics, entertainment market leaders and studios are supporting Imax Enhanced, including Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Sound United, parent company to Denon and Marantz.

Imax Enhanced announced that it has added streaming partners Tencent Video in China and Rakuten TV in Europe, in addition to device partners Arcam, Elite, Integra, Lexicon, Onkyo, Pioneer, TCL and Trinnov. Privilege 4K (U.S.) will stream Imax Enhanced content to select Sony Bravia televisions beginning this year.

The first Imax titles to be released on streaming platforms and Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc include Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Venom and Alpha, among 15 confirmed titles.

Additionally, Paramount Pictures will make its initial Imax titles available in 2019. Last month, Imax documentaries Journey to the South Pacific and A Beautiful Planet, were the first enhanced Ultra HD Blu-ray discs to be released, from Mill Creek Entertainment.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Imax and DTS to serve as the exclusive digital retailer in the U.S. for Imax enhanced content releasing later this year, helping consumers access premium 4K HDR content as the filmmaker intended in the home,” Cameron Douglas, head of FandangoNow, said in a statement.

Available on more than 200 million connected devices, FandangoNow experienced double-digit sales growth in 2018. In December, the streaming service was inducted into Variety’s Home Entertainment Hall of Fame, being recognized for its innovation and expansive library of more than 80,000 new release and catalog movies, next-day TV shows and growing library of 4K titles.

The service’s push into 4K has resulted in more than 20% of transactions coming from 4K, when that format is available.

“For decades, Fandango has helped millions of movie fans enjoy Imax movies on giant screens by creating innovative movie discovery and ticketing services using next generation online, mobile and voice technologies,” said Geir Skaaden, EVP, chief products and services officer at Xperi Corporation, parent company of DTS. “Now, with the company’s video on-demand service FandangoNow and its support of Imax films, Fandango can help deliver to fans a level of quality never before experienced at home.”

NPD: Digital Movie Transactions Up 19% in First Half of 2018

Digital movie purchase and rental transactions increased 19% in the first half of 2018, compared to the previous-year period, according to new data from The NPD Group.

The research group said that as TV-connected devices become commonplace in U.S. homes more consumers are choosing to rent and purchase digital movies, according to a survey of 5,677 U.S. consumers, aged 18 and older fielded from July 30th through Aug. 7, 2018. Trend is compared to the August 2017 survey, which fielded during a similar period last year.

As of August 2018, 61 million households in the U.S. had at least one Internet-connected TV, video game console, Blu-ray Disc player or streaming media player, representing year over year growth of three million. Specifically, households with an Internet-connected TV increased 20% and those with streaming media players grew 17%.

“Growth in digital movie transactions is being driven, in part, by access to TV-connected devices as an increasing number of viewers can simply buy and rent movies right in their living room,” John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence, said in a statement. “While greater access begets consumption, certain digital movie providers facilitate ownership over renting.”

Among the top five digital movie providers, iTunes users have the highest propensity to buy over rent, because Apple’s movie consumers are more affluent and more apt to collect movies. In the 12-months ending August 2018, nearly 24% of iTunes movie transactions were motivated by a desire to build a digital collection, leading to more buying than renting, according to NPD’s VideoWatch Digital service.

Vudu customers were also more ownership focused than the average video consumer, as such 20% of transactions were motivated by collecting. In contrast collecting movies only drove 13% of Amazon Video digital movie transactions, 9% of Google Play movie transactions, and 4% of Microsoft Store movie transactions.

“It’s long been known that collectability drives ownership and that’s no difference in the digital era,” said Ricardo Solar, president of media entertainment for NPD. “Movie fans will always want to own great films, as such, provider agnostic services like Movies Anywhere are critical for enabling digital sales growth.”

 

 

New In-Home Theatrical VOD Service Launches

A new transactional VOD service offering early home entertainment access to European theatrical releases has launched in the United States.

Dubbed ROW8, the service aims to accelerate home entertainment access to exclusive premieres of foreign theatrical titles in the U.S. market. Users can rent movies for $7.99, watchable on Internet-connected TVs, Roku, Android and Apple devices.

Founded by entrepreneurs George Christoph and Jasmina Christoph, and led by CEO John Calkins (formerly head of digital distribution at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), ROW8 is working with industry advisors Craig Kornblau (former president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and current advisor to a number of companies in the GV [Google Ventures] portfolio), and Ken Ziffren, co-founding partner of Ziffren Brittenham.

The service features proprietary technology, guided by CTO David Rondan, offering filmmakers the flexibility of tailoring their in-home releases with session-identifiable watermarks.

ROW8 is initially available on Web, iOS, Android and Roku, with other platforms to follow.

Initial titles include Danish box office hit Darkland; The End?, a stylish and imaginative Italian horror film, and Box 27, an emotional family drama from France.

Calkins said ROW8 aims to focus on advances in digital marketing and consumer demand, in addition to creating alternatives to traditional release patterns for “forward-thinking” film distributors.

“We are passionate film lovers who understand the challenges that a rapidly changing landscape has created for theatrically released films the world over,” he said in a statement.

Initial studio partner includes Germany’s Constantin Films, whose titles Adidas vs. Puma, and World War II drama, Friends Forever are available to stream.

“We are excited to be among the first to provide films to the ROW8 service, and believe the time is right in the market for the consumer to have accelerated access to great theatrical films, without compromising the upside to filmmakers or the risk of being lost in a subscription video-on-demand bundle,” said Constantin CEO Martin Moszkowicz.

Redbox Partners with Mediamorph to Expand Digital Footprint

Redbox April 2 announced an agreement with cloud-based software company Mediamorph to help expand its digital distribution of movies and video games.

Last December, Redbox bowed Redbox On Demand, a transactional VOD platform available on the Redbox website, the Redbox app for Android and iOS-enabled devices, as well as Apple TV, Chromecast, LG and Samsung Smart TVs and Roku.

“We sought out a partner to help streamline our avails management, content ordering and pricing management processes,” Lowell Bike, director of product management at Redbox, said in a statement. “By leveraging Mediamorph’s cloud solution and industry-specific systems, we can seamlessly scale our content offering and ramp up to support consumer demand.”

Mediamorph CEO Rob Gardos said Redbox would now be able to “quickly scale,” bringing more content and the right mix of offers to consumers.

“We … look forward to helping the company add even more titles to the Redbox On Demand offering,” he said.

Privately-held Redbox continues to rent DVD, Blu-ray Disc movies and video games through a nationwide network of more than 41,500 kiosks.