Large TV adoption sees digital film sales quadruple

Joseph O'Halloran | 19-10-2012

New research from Mintel has revealed that as household TV screens continue to increase in size, so do the sales and rentals of digital movies.

Indeed the research found that digital downloads, subscription streaming, and video-on-demand (VOD) sales of movies are expected to have increased tenfold in the 10-year period 2007-17. Over 2007-12, sales are likely to have more than quadrupled from $1.3 billion to $5.5 billion.iTunes was found to be the clear leader in digital movie sales, with three-fifths of respondents who purchased a digital-store movie in the past 30 days doing so through Apple's service who boasted more than twice the share than Amazon (25%) and three times as many as any other competitor.

Despite the boost in electronic distribution direct to home, Mintel found that traditional DVD rentals are still the most popular way to rent movies, with almost a third (32%) of online consumers renting individual discs via this method in the past 30 days. However, driven by the ever popular Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and pay-TV online video services such as pay-per-view or VOD, digital distribution is not far behind: a quarter of respondents say they have used online streaming in the past 30 days and 22% have used a pay-TV method.

"We live in a time of instant gratification and the idea of waiting for a movie to arrive in the mail or actually driving to a store to get one is an idea of the past," commented Billy Hulkower, senior technology analyst at Mintel. "Increased acceptance of all intangible media, including music, photos, books and games is a driver with consumers increasingly acclimated to the immediacy of all digital formats."