‘Future of DVD’ study: Disc-based media isn’t going away soon

As more and more consumers realize the convenience and relative inexpensiveness of streaming video on-demand, the worry that disc-based physical media such as Blu-ray – a still-nascent format when compared to its younger brother DVD – will suffer and then die off intensifies. The very concept of premium VOD, which brings just-released movies from theaters to homes in mere weeks instead of months, has companies like AMC up in arms.

However, a new study alleges that despite the industry push toward digital distribution and rising adoption rate in homes of services like Netflix over recent years, Blu-ray, DVD and online content can all still get along.

An exclusive study culled from myriad data compiled by industry analysts like the Consumer Electronics Association was made available to entertainment news site Home Media Magazine today. Despite past (and future) gains made by digital distribution, the study says it may not overtake the physical distribution model until 2021 for various reasons. Moreover, DVD still has some life in it — contrary to some previous reports.

“The portability and relatively inexpensive price point of the DVD help expand the lifespan of physical media,” reads the “Future of DVD” study. “Additionally, purchases of Blu-ray Discs and players jumped 86% in 2010, giving further evidence that physical media as the primary home video medium will take substantially longer to fade out than the demise of VHS a decade ago.”

Considering how successful the 15-year-old DVD format continues to be, it’s unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The medium’s lingering popularity may also bode well for its successor’s lifespan, suggests the study.

Blu-ray continues to make headway with the unenviable task of supplanting DVD as the physical medium of the masses, and though 2010 was certainly a year worth celebrating for the 5-year-old format some have raised concerns over whether manufacturers will be capable of matching rising consumer demand in the HD platform.

Interest in DVD content via rentals will in 2014 resemble 2008 levels according to the report, garnering “three times the marketshare as digital rentals in 2014.”

The study also noted the discrepancy between what American consumers spend on digital content (approximately $2 billion) and what they spend on traditional physical products (around $18 billion) as support for its conclusion that “the obsolescence of physical media within the home video market is not a near-term event.” (via Home Media Magazine)

Do you plan on ditching physical mediums any time soon? Or have you already gone digital? We’d love to read your input.