Streaming drives US H1 home entertainment spending to hit $15.7 BN | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Preliminary research from the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), the Mid-Year 2021 Home Entertainment Report, has found that even amid challenging pandemic comparisons, spending has risen 5% year-on-year.
DEG US Ent 12Aug 2021
This represents a total of $15.7 billion spent in the first six months of on films and television shows consumed at home and on the go. If the data is confirmed, the rise would mean an impressive start to the year given the first half of 2020 was a record-breaking period for home viewing as consumers limited out-of-home activity in response to the spread of Covid-19. Second quarter growth year-on-year was just 1% for a total of $7.9 billion.

Yet there were a number of factors limiting 2021 growth principally a dearth of theatrical new releases, which are historically a key driver of home entertainment spending. Due to theatre closures during the pandemic, few new releases made their way to market in the first half of the year, and those that did were often released initially for rental or sale in a premium window, the spending on which was not reported by any major studio in the first six months of 2021.

When compared against the comparable pre-pandemic period in 2019, however, total US home entertainment spending in 2021 shows growth of more than 35% for the second quarter and 32% for the first half, demonstrating consumers’ continued strong engagement with content. Internet-delivered video-on-demand (VOD) rentals grew 24% in the first half of 2021, compared with the same period in 2019.

The study  found that consumer spending on subscription streaming rose almost 17% to $6.3 billion for the second quarter, and by 21% to $12.2 billion in in the first six months of 2021, fuelled by consumer interest in multiple major services launched in the past 18 months. It said the sector was boosted noticeably as with many theatres closed during the pandemic, some new titles were made immediately available on streaming services including Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon and others simultaneous with, or in place of, a theatrical release.

DEG also estimated that premium windows are capturing another $1 billion that studios are not yet reporting through industry channels. “We had this big spike last year where consumers were looking for any content they could transactionally,” said DEG chair Jim Wuthrich commenting on the study. “This year we’ve come down, but we’re running against that big spike we had last year. The one drag that we’ve got for the first half of this year was really around new release product because we don’t have a lot of new release product.”