At The Movies

23 04 2012

It’s Saturday night. I think I’d like to watch a movie. This is where the consumer behavior process start.

Which movie? And from where? My library? Or elsewhere?

It is at this point there is a rather ominous fork in the road. While I could certainly watch a movie from among the many I have purchased down through the years (in both DVD and…gasp…VHS formats), I think tonight that I would like to watch something I have not seen before.

So my choices are to run to Walmart or Best Buy to buy one, stop at Hastings to rent one, find a Red Box to rent for a $1. Or stream one.

And it turns out that I am not alone. In 2012, more movies will be watched via streaming than from actual discs.

Move over, DVDs. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Pay Per View and others are kicking your butt.

And it is only going to get worse for DVDs.

Sure, there is still more money to be made by selling tangible discs (as well as renting them repeatedly) than via streaming, but we will soon reach a break-even point after which not only will streaming rule in volume, it will also dominate in revenues.

Face it. Streaming is easier. Sure, the selection may still not offer us the very latest releases, but this will only get better over time. Pay Per View overcomes that obstacle, though. The convenience factor, plus the overall lower price, mean that streaming is the future…and the future is now.

As bandwidth gets better and better for all (even in rural areas), those weekly trips to the Hastings store are going to stop, as well as Walmart and Best Buy. As a defensive measure, Walmart is testing its Vudu movie service. Best Buy, though, is closing stores. Can anyone say dinosaur?

Once again, the evolutionary process is affecting retailing. Stores left holding tons of tangible entertainment inventory are going to be swimming in red ink. And those companies simply making their movies available when and where people want them…and at competitive prices…will rule.

The message is very clear to Hollywood. Unless people attend theaters to view new releases, the gravy train of DVD sales is nearing its end. Stubborn people like me, who seldom go to the theater (I guess I am just too cheap), have drawn a line in the lobby: give us the movies on streaming, or else we just won’t watch it.

And as Hollywood (and retailers) awaken to this new reality, maybe they will turn from their slumber try to compete with the companies they have already spotted a huge lead.

As for me, I’m tuning in Netflix. And I am open for your suggestions.

Dr “Pass The Popcorn” Gerlich



One response

23 04 2012

Knew streaming was big, but had no idea it’s already THIS big. That infographic is an excellent find!
I’m going to test Netflix too, since LoveFilm failed to impress. Though I’m more of a tv series watcher, so when chosing streaming services that’s what I prioritise. I think TV is going down a similar road to DVDs…

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