Streaming services may get a lot of the attention in the TV business, but new figures show a dramatic uptick in spending on digital copies of TV and movie titles in 2013. Those bright spots helped Hollywood's once-battered home entertainment sector inch up 1% to $18.2 billion in total revenue, according to a trade group study of 2013 sales.
The Digital Entertainment Group, a broad consortium of most of the studios releasing top-selling titles, said the overall increase in home entertainment sales was the second in a row. Electronic sell-through (EST) (which DEG now prefers to call Digital HD) jumped 50% for the year, surpassing $1 billion for the first time, while VOD spending rose 5% from a year earlier to $2.1 billion.
New platforms such as Comcast’s digital movie sellthrough service and Target Ticket, plus media hub consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, were all positive factors offsetting continued decline in physical disc sales. Overall digital content spending rose 17%, with streaming subscriptions (excluding bundled SVOD services) gaining 32% to reach almost $3.2 billion.
Another driver is growth of HDTV sales. More than 38 million of the units were purchased in 2013, bringing overall penetration to more than 96 million U.S. households, according to numbers compiled by the DEG with input from retail tracking sources.