Report: DVD, Blu-ray still corner the home entertainment market

This week market research firm The NPD Group published a report stating something many won't find that shocking: physical media (i.e. DVD and Blu-ray) continues to be the format of choice for home movie watchers.

Echoing previous findings that silenced fears of both an impending twilight for DVD and a shorter-than-expected life expectancy for Blu-ray, the NPD report points to a majority of consumers admitting they spend more on renting or buying physical copies than on streaming movies.

Even as Netflix boasts over 20 million paying subscribers and companies like Amazon continue the push into the streaming movie space, disc-based content still garners the majority of consumer spending.

Based on consumer surveys conducted in March as part of the NPD's "Entertainment Trends in America" series, the findings reflect a populace either unwilling or unable to transition from physical to digital.

According to the group, respondents claimed that 78% of their "home video budgets" went to disc-based movies, while just 15% went toward both streaming subscription services and physical rentals. The leftover 8% of spending made up everything in between: PPV, VOD and other digital downloads.

Russ Crupnick, NPD's entertainment industry analyst, admitted that while digital content will increase in popularity and become a staple in more homes, physical media is safe for now.

"We expect strong growth from many digital sectors, driven by connected devices, improving selection, and the consumer's endless quest for convenience," he said, adding, "For now, though, physical discs continue to lead overall engagement and spending by home video viewers; and even with increasing use of VOD and other digital formats, the primacy of DVD and Blu-ray in home video will continue for the foreseeable future."

Crupnick admits sales and rentals of physical media are "slowing," but he's hesitant to draw dreary conclusions: "There is no evidence that consumers are abandoning physical discs for watching movies, even as the choices for viewing are expanding."

Last year indeed saw DVD sales on the decline, though Blu-ray sales have picked up the slack.

Do these findings reflect how you spend your home entertainment dollars? Let us know in the comment section.

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