The rapidly transforming home entertainment market showed pockets of growth in 2014, notably in the electronic sell-through window, according to the latest annual survey by industry consortium the Digital Entertainment Group released Tuesday at CES.
Overall spending on home entertainment slipped nearly 2% to finish at $17.8 billion, the DEG said, cautioning that Tuesday's estimates would be followed by firm numbers by the end of January.
Electronic sell-through, or EST (the window when consumers can buy digital copies of TV or film titles from iTunes, Amazon, MVPDs or other distributors), gained a remarkable 30% on the year to reach almost $1.6 billion. Many distributors offer key titles for sale in this window several weeks before the physical discs hit stores or rental options are available on VOD or digital platforms.
Another bright spot was streaming video. Total spending on streaming SVOD services such as Netflix rose 26% over 2013 levels, adding up to $4 billion. One caveat on those streaming numbers is that the DEG tracks subscriptions that are not bundled with other services, an increasingly common setup in the current smart-TV era.
The total revenue numbers were dragged down by the continuing collapse of physical disc sales, and even the once-surging kiosk sales posted by Redbox and other vendors. Physical disc sales slumped 11% to $6.9 billion.