The music industry has had to accept the sharp decline of physical sales, but the film industry hasn't yet reached that point of acceptance - but DVD and Blu-Ray alike are heading for the same cliff-edge of sales that CDs reached some years ago, another huge revenue stream under threat.
The big six also need to consider the digital upstarts Amazon and Netflix (and surely Apple sooner or later, the music industry slayer!) as key rivals ... and partners, an uneasy relationship.
A UK study has concluded that in just 3 years (by 2020) UK pay-TV revenue will be below that of streaming sites - but cinema might be more resilient (given my points above I'm highly sceptical!)
Paying for TV content from on-demand digital video services will grow by more than 30% to £1.42bn at the turn of the decade, claims consultancy firm PwC. This rise in popularity will see revenue from video services edge ahead of an estimated £1.41bn from cinemagoers.
While Apple and Sky have also made inroads with their download services, the rise of streaming has been the biggest competitive challenge to cinemas in recent years.
“Demand for internet video shows no signs of slowing down,” said Phil Stokes, UK head of entertainment and media at PwC. However, he warned against forecasting the death of blockbusters or the big screens where they are shown. “The figures do not signal the death of film. Look at the box office performance of films such as Star Wars: Rogue One or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to see the significant amount of enthusiasm for blockbuster movies out there.”
Stokes said the UK film industry will remain in a “pretty healthy” position despite the boom in home entertainment.
The report predicts movie attendance will grow from 172m admissions last year to 179m in 2021, and the number of screens across the UK will rise from 4,143 to 4,542.
PwC predicts a “terminal decline” for DVD and Blu-ray sales from £1.22bn in 2016 to just £533m by 2021. The report predicts that internet video will overtake DVD sales this year, but some analysts claim this has already happened.Netflix and Amazon 'will overtake UK cinema box office spending by 2020'.
Streaming has already surpassed physical sales of film:
Total revenues from digital video – which includes services such as Apple’s iTunes as well as Sky’s store and Now TV – surged almost 23% to £1.3bn last year.The digital boost came as high street sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs fell 17% to £894m – the first time it has fallen below the £1bn mark. The once mighty physical rental market fell 21% to just £49m.(2017 Guardian article)