American consumer spending during the first six months of 2010 slid 3.3%, dropping to $8.8 billion, the Digital Entertainment Group discovered in a recently released market study.
The continued slide of DVD sales negated any gains by Blu-ray or digital downloads while the industry deals with a shift from DVDs. The report also found that DVD and Blu-ray sales dropped to $4.7 billion, a 7.1 percent slide — though some analysts expected an even more significant slide, but Avatar helped slow the sales drop.
DVDs saw the largest sales drop during the first half, suffering an almost 15 percent drop down to almost $4 billion. Download and video on demand saw a strong 23 percent market increase, according to research, up to $1.1 billion.
Hollywood hit movie Avatar helped boost sales — racking up 4 million DVD sales and 2.7 million Blu-ray movies — in the first 96 hours after release. Q1 sales were worse for the movie studios, because Q2 received such a strong boost from Avatar.”
Blu-ray continues to see sales growth format supporters hoped for after the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format war ended.
The transition to Blu-ray and digital streaming is expected to continue, analysts predict, with streaming movies expected to be the eventual winner.
There is a lingering threat that the slowly recovering economy will still hold back consumer spending on home entertainment. Even so, manufacturers continue to develop Web-enabled devices as movie studios embrace digital streaming.
It may take some time, but I expect home entertainment sales to increase while the economy recovers. Hollywood must try to sell Blu-ray movies as quickly as it can in the U.S., because sales remain disappointing outside the U.S., and streaming is expected to eventually take over.