DVD Sales Down. What do You Think the Reasons are?

Jan 25, 2009
Updated • Nov 29, 2012

At the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Digital Entertainment Group released its figures for DVD spending in the United States in 2008. The results were a 5.5% decrease from the previous year.

DEG’s figures aren’t just for outright sales of DVDs, but also include DVD rentals and Blu-Ray disc sales. Rental revenue stayed nearly constant from previous year’s figures but sales pretty much took a nosedive. While it’s easy to blame dismal sales on the old monster of piracy, I personally think there are a lot of factors for this loss. Here are some of them.

Economics: There’s no denying that DVD sales have in part been affected by the recession. With money starting to get tight, fun spending is the first to be cut and DVDs are definitely not ‘essential’.

Content: For me, barring 2-3 flicks, I can’t think of many movies that I found memorable this year. So I don’t see the point of owning them on DVD because I certainly don’t want to watch them over and over.

Digital Downloads: Nowadays, plenty of TV shows and movies can be legally purchased in a digital format of your choice. In the case of TV shows, consumers have the option of purchasing only the episodes they want. This is a definite advantage over buying an entire season on DVD for a few episodes.

Transition to High Definition: Falling prices of HDTVs, Blu-Ray players, and discs means that a lot of people no longer prefer to invest in standard-definition media like DVDs. It’s similar to tapes dying out once CDs became more affordable.

I’m not much of a DVD person myself. If a movie catches my fancy, I’ll watch it in a theatre. If not, I can just wait a few months and catch it when it’s broadcast on cable. What about you? Have you bought less DVDs this year? Why do you think sales are down? Let me know.


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  1. kiki said on January 31, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    i want to describe down a movies!!!

  2. Clyde said on January 26, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Recession. Owning a DVD of your favorite movie is a frivolous luxury. You’ve already seen the movie, after all. Services like OnDemand and Netflix and Hulu have made it so easy to access content, there seems little point in owning a library of movies. People can barely keep up with what’s on their Tivo. So if the economic situation calls for belt tightening, owning a copy of a movie I have already seen and can easily rent… seems like an easy expense to cut.

  3. Thinker said on January 26, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Even here, in Poland, we got Video on Demand available in TV without use of Internet. So cable TV is getting better and better, and on the other hand we got much video available all over the Internet.

  4. Womble said on January 26, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Now that there’s a computer or console in nearly every home perhaps people are watching movies less?

  5. Rich F said on January 26, 2009 at 12:21 am

    hmmm. I’d say Red Box at a dollar a night to rent. Then DRM removal & ripping software.

  6. Nosh said on January 25, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Reason#1: The Other Blog(TM)

  7. Sebastian said on January 25, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Am I missing something or why don’t you count the illegal copys? Burning DVDs gets easier, DVD writers get cheaper, every copy protection will be encrypted in a few days. It’s a breeze to copy any DVD.

  8. Dotan Cohen said on January 25, 2009 at 8:38 pm
  9. Beale said on January 25, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    We get free movies via Dish. None of the TV ads pointed out that $40 TV digitizer boxes only give you a good picture for about 5 seconds at a time, because they’re so unstable. So we went to dish TV, instead.

  10. mule said on January 25, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    But Netflix is a consumer of DVDs, so in theory, they help sales, right?

  11. Dan said on January 25, 2009 at 6:01 pm


  12. mule said on January 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Entertainment expenses are the first to go when I’m tightening the old belt.


  13. Paul. said on January 25, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    1.) failing quailty films/no good films.
    2.) Stil much – and much to high prices for dvd/blue ray, etc.
    3.) economics
    4.) Digital downloads.

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