Streaming Video Will Finally Surpass DVDs as Most Popular Movie Viewing Medium in 2012

Give it another couple of generations and America's young folk will think of DVDs the way the current generation thinks of VHS. DVDs are a dead format in the making, and they've already begun their march down death row. Find that hard to believe? Consider this -- according to IHS Screen Digest, in 2012 Americans will pay to consume 3.4 billion movies online, which works out to over 1 billion MORE movies than what are consumed on DVD and Blu-ray combined..

This, says IHS Screen Digest, puts "the final nail in the old idea that consumers won't accept premium content distributed online." But the question is, will content providers accept it?

Interestingly enough, DVDs are expected to generate more revenue than streaming video -- a lot more. IHS Screen Digest forecasts physical media will bring in $11.1 billion in revenue in 2012, compared to 'just' $1.7 billion in streaming revenue. That's a huge disparity, though IHS iSuppli didn't address the profit margins on both delivery methods. However, it's interesting to note that consumers currently pay an average of 51 cents per streaming movie, compared to $4.72 for DVD and Blu-ray videos.

How do you split your time between streaming movies and physical media?
sackyhack 2 years ago

I still love buying blu-rays since my internet connection isn't good enough for streaming HD content, but more and more I've been "renting" movies on Amazon Prime. I used to buy dvds a lot, but now I only buy the rare sci-fi or action blu-ray that I think really benefits from HD. I still weep with joy every time I watch Blade Runner in HD. Everything else I just pay $2-$3 to watch online, if it's not already free though Prime. If more people start doing this, I wonder what companies are gonna do to keep their profit margins up.

karanm 2 years ago

I don't remember the last time I used my DVD player, I have a media player with a 2 terabyte hd in it that has all my media. I usually download everything for my family to watch and stream once in a blue moon. The problem with DVDs is that you end up having a ton of them that just sit there for years, some of them you might pick up and watch again but most just collect dust. Having everything on a hd just makes it easier because I can just delete what I don't want and I also have easier access to old stuff that I want to watch, don't have to go looking for the disc that has the movie or show I want.

Oh and Blade Runner in HD is awesome but cant compare to the matrix trilogy in HD or the Star Wars saga in 720p (the 1080p files were just too big :( sigh)

rapid1 2 years ago

To tell the truth we get it from Comcast on demand. Renting a movie on there is usually $4.99 or less and pretty rarely is it that there is a movie I would rent and then want to watch again in a short period of time. Then when a movie has enough age on it they drop in price to 1.99, 99, and free. Believe it or not this started for me over 2 years ago now. In fact I watched Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy last night for $4.99 and I can watch it again all weekend if I want. Going to the movies cost 10 bucks a person not to mention the ridiculous prices for drinks pop corn etc. I could rent a brand new movie all month every weekend and it would cost half if not less than 1 trip to the movie's. Of course we do do that now and again for date night but it is not often at all.

omegadraco 2 years ago

I prefer my Blu-rays. My internet connection is not nearly fast enough for HD and even the HD streaming movies don't usually have the Dolby Surround tracks attached.

JDiaz 2 years ago

It's mainly a matter of what devices will be most used for watching media from now on. For home entertainment the streaming media still has issues with reliability but also quality and that may get worse as they make the move to 4K video quality sets over the next few years.

For more portable and especially mobile devices then streaming media has the advantage of convenience and doesn't need to provide that much quality to look good. Though the increasing number of HD screens may put a damper on that but may get away with scaling as many of these devices are too small to really notice the quality difference.

Optical media is still pretty cheap though and still more reliable than streaming, so it'll likely be a slow phasing out. While Blu Rays are likely to stick around for awhile longer unless either the entertainment changes it's business model and/or a superior alternative comes out for cheaply storing high quality media.

For anything else besides movies though, optical media will die out more quickly as memory cards quickly replace them as the preferred method of storing and transferring data.

rapid1 2 years ago

I know this the only thing we have played in the DVD player in a year comes from a big stack of Barbie, Curious George, Hello Kitty, Disney etc DVD'd and it may have been 2 years or almost that! When me or Sarah watch anything it is from the Comcast or At&t Uverse when we had it for 2 months instant streaming service.

digitaldd 2 years ago

I get blu-ray in the mail from Netflix maybe 3 a month. But my streaming fix comes from Crackle and the free Flicks on YouTube



KMya 2 years ago

Netflix getting personal details from facebook .

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