US NEWS: Video streaming to overtake disc sales this year

Blu-ray. streaming

Video streaming could overtake physical disc sales in the US this year. Researcher IHS Screen Digest has reported that legal online movie streaming in the US will hit the 3.4 billion mark this year, up from 1.4 billion in 2011, according to Bloomberg.

Physical DVD and Blu-ray viewings are forecast to drop from 2.6 billion to 2.4 billion, and with services like Netflix recently joining the likes of LoveFilm in the UK, there's no sign of a slowdown in media streaming.

“We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray,” Dan Cryan, IHS senior principal analyst, says in the statement.

“But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business.”

The report highlights the price disparity between online purchases and movies sold in retail shops. Consumers paid an average of 51 cents for every movie consumed online, compared with $4.72 for physically purchased videos, IHS found.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.