Digital Movie and TV Sales Make Up for Falling Q3 Disc Purchases

Electronic sales jumped 46 percent during the three months leading to the crucial holiday sales season

Rising digital sales of movies and television shows made up for declines in disc purchases during the third quarter that was neck and neck with the year ago period, according to new data from the Digital Entertainment Group.

Total domestic spending was virtually flat at $3.97 billion for the three month period ending Sept. 30, 0.05 percent above the year ago period. That was driven primarily by 24 percent jump in digital sales, video-on-demand and subscription streaming services like Netflix, which accounted for $1.6 billion.

Also read: How ‘Epic’ Digital Sales Are Bolstering the Sagging Home Entertainment Biz

DEG was eager to note that electronic sales of films, which studios like Fox and Sony have made a point of emphasizing in home entertainment ads, rose 46 percent during the period. It’s still a relatively small piece of the pie at $273 million, but at least it’s moving in the right direction and should hit $1 billion in revenue for the first time this year. That was helped in part by an industry-wide decision to embrace the more user friendly Digital HD name as a way of explaining the concept of digital ownership to consumers.

However, disc sales dropped 13 percent to $1.4 billion for the period, and the trade organization said that Blu-ray also saw declines. DEG did note that the year-ago period saw the release of two popular box sets from the James Bond and Indiana Jones franchises, although it did elaborate on how sharp a drop in Blu-ray sales the industry saw during the period.