US NEWS: TV ownership drops for first time in 20 years, as DVD sales fall 20%

TV ownership in the US has dropped for the first time in 20 years, while disc sales have fallen by 20% in Q1 of 2011.

The research, by Nielsen and the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) respectively, points to the internet and streaming content as key factors for both figures declining.

Nielsen reports that TV ownership in the US fell from 98.9% of households to 96.7%, and said poverty and the rise of TV content online have combined to cause less households to purchase a TV.

The DEG meanwhile announced that sales of DVDs and Blu-rays in the US were down 20% in the first quarter of 2011.

Sales fell from $2.58bn to just over $2bn in the first three months of the year, while DVD rentals through the likes of Blockbuster fell 36% year-on-year to $440m.

Interestingly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, consumer spending on streaming services such as Netflix – a US equivalent of the likes of Acetrax or LoveFilm's online service – rose 33% to $695m.

While the streaming services are building on a relatively low starting rate in 2010, there's clearly potential for serious growth.

Which means it's no surprise to see Hollywood looking to exploit streaming services such as YouTube, as we reported recently.

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).