Apparently consumers are spending more time — and money — at home.
According to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, consumer spending on Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, video-on-demand (VOD), electronic sell-through and subscription streaming videos was up 3.8 percent in the third quarter, to $4.2 billion, and is ahead 2.5 percent for the year.
Leading the charge was subscription streaming, with sales up 23.9 percent in Q3. Electronic sell-through followed with a 9.8 percent gain, while VOD trailed in third place among digital formats with a 4.8 percent increase.
Less robust was packaged media. While total sell-through topped $1 billion for the quarter, the figure represents an 8.7 percent decline for combined BD and DVD sales.
The rental market was even tougher, with combined storefront, kiosk and subscription rentals falling 17.8 percent to $568 million.
Driving demand for digital content is the pervasiveness of HD and 4K UHD TVs. DEG said HDTV penetration is approaching saturation levels, with about 85 percent of all U.S. homes in possession of at least one 1080p set, while total sales of 4K UHD models are approaching 10 million units to date.
DEG, a Hollywood trade group representing the studios’ home entertainment businesses, does not yet report sales figures for Ultra HD Blu-ray players due to Samsung’s dominance of the category, although it noted that 72 titles are currently in release.
Total home entertainment spending slowed from the prior quarter when sales rose 6 percent.