Digital shines but US home entertainment spending stays flat over 2016 | Media Analysis | Business
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2016 offered no respite for a US entertainment sector that has been buffeted over the last decade, according to research from the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).

LG signature 5 Jan 2017Even though the recent past’s rapid rate of decline has abated over the last two years, the 2016 Home Entertainment Report compiled by DEG members, tracking sources and retail input, showed that total revenues inched up by just 1.36% to $18.3 billion.

Yet the survey showed good news in some sectors, principally digital which experienced a double-digit overall rise. DEG said that its survey showed that consumers were continuing to embrace the convenience and accessibility of purchasing and collecting digital content and that 4K/Ultra HD TVs, players and discs all showed strong sales in their first year of launch.

In the digital category, electronic sell-through (EST) sales in the key fourth quarter of the year were flat (a 0.26% rise year-on-year compared with Q4 2015) amounted to $552.47 million. Yet a steady subscription streaming sector secured $533.36 million in sales, up 2.78%, and a vibrant video-on-demand (VOD) market growing 26.34% annually accounted for $1.705 billion. Total digital sales for the quarter came in at just under $2.8 billion, a healthy 15.35% yearly rise.

For the year as a whole, EST, subscription streaming and VOD brought in $2 billion, $2.076 billion and $6.23 billion respectively for total digital sales of $10.316 billion.

Looking at the TV set market, DEG found that US HDTV penetration was now at more than 112 million households of which 16 million were 4K/Ultra HD TVs. There were in total 88 million Blu-ray playback devices, including set-tops and game consoles, in US households and, most encouragingly, first-year sales data showed that consumers were embracing 4K Disc content, purchasing films and TV shows at a faster pace than they did in HD-Disc format when it was introduced. Some ten million 4K Ultra HD TVs shipped over 2016, representing nearly $10 billion. These are projected to reach 30 million units by the end of 2017.There were 110 4K/Ultra HD titles in the market over the year with 250 titles projected by the DEG to be available by the end of 2017.