Wednesday, May 13, 2009

DVD Tops for Entertainment; Online Delivery Small But Growing

Consumers are still buying DVD's, but streaming usage is growing. And " even digital downloaders have not abandoned those shiny little discs. Eight out of 10 who downloaded movies also said they bought or rented a DVD," which indicates that physical media is not going away. For me though, the huge library of content online and easily accessible, makes me less inclined to have to own content. That rent or own philosophy seems to dictate my decision.

With the ease of VOD to watch on TV, and the lower cost to view, why purchase a DVD that has no long term interest to me. Those rare exceptions seem to be children's movies, including many Disney and Pixar titles, that get repeat viewing in my household. Other films, like the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, was great to watch on VOD; but having watched once, I find no need watch again. Still renting or streaming a film first lets me decide whether I want to make a bigger commitment to purchase.

How will I feel once I own an HDTV and will I feel the need to buy a blu-ray player and own blu-ray DVDs; I just don't know. Will HD keep the DVD the predominate choice? It may slow down the trend to streaming, but it won't stop it.

While Netflix enjoys a healthy relationship of DVD media with its customers, the customer still treats those disks as rentals not purchases. Blockbuster and other video stores are expanding their offerings to gaming disks and other non-film product to increase their revenue streams. Will customers want to own the physical asset? That media must change and get smaller and easier to manipulate. Whether saved on thumb drives or other smaller transportable device, the current DVD must give way to these new media choices, just as the LP gave way to the cassette, the VHS to the DVD. We want more content packaged into smaller boxes. Customers will still buy; how they receive the content is what keeps changing.