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Streaming media to overtake theatrical film and Blu-ray/DVD revenue by 2017

06.04.2014

Physical media is dead! Long live streaming!

Well, maybe not quite yet, but industry trends appear to indicate that in just three more years, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu will become the preferred method for consuming films and television, even surpassing theatrical films. A study indicates that by 2016, streaming will exceed Blu-ray and DVD sales and then movie theater box office by the following year. Currently, streaming services account for $8.5 billion revenue which will double by 2017.

Before we begin calling for the death of seeing first run films in movie theaters as we have done for almost a century, the PriceWaterhouseCooper study also shows that theater box office will increase by 16% over the same time period with an expected film ticket running just under $10 by 2018. Hollywood won't be concerned, but the public has spoken that they prefer their media on demand and instantly without worrying about carrying a physical disc or taking up storage in their home.

I have always considered myself a traditionalist when it comes to my media. I have always had walls of shelving lined with VHS tapes, DVDs, books, and CDs. As time has gone by, that music was replaced by a single iPod. Then, my VHS went away to be replaced with DVD and Blu-ray. I swore I would never give up paper books, but I still find myself using a tablet for reading new novels. I love unwrapping a new movie and popping in that disc as I enjoy browsing the special features at my leisure, but I have purchased some digital only movies for my kids to enjoy. Eventually, we will all go the all digital route.

But fear not! Just like many decried the death of vinyl, records are experiencing a resurgence in recent years. They will likely always be an audience for physical media, but those folks will become the minority. I feel a bit of paranoia not owning a movie physically as it leaves the feeling that at any point if your internet goes down you cannot watch a film while your Blu-ray or VCR always has worked as long as you had electricity.

Overtaking revenue doesn't mean that studios will suddenly stop making DVDs and Blu-rays right away, but it certainly indicates a decline is coming. Where will you stand on this decline? Is it good for the industry or is this a sign of the end?

Source: Variety

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11:47PM on 06/06/2014
I can certainly see why everyone wouldn't want Blu-ray to go away for quality sake, however with the appearance of faster bandwidth (namely Google Internet which boasts 200x faster internet than average speeds), I wouldn't be surprised to see better quality streaming very soon.

With that said i truly believe that many movies released in the box office would of flourished on streaming services. They can never replace the movie going experience, nor will it. People still buy tickets to live
I can certainly see why everyone wouldn't want Blu-ray to go away for quality sake, however with the appearance of faster bandwidth (namely Google Internet which boasts 200x faster internet than average speeds), I wouldn't be surprised to see better quality streaming very soon.

With that said i truly believe that many movies released in the box office would of flourished on streaming services. They can never replace the movie going experience, nor will it. People still buy tickets to live concerts, yet can just download the album but its a completely different experience. Its about the experience that goes along with a film, not just the film itself.
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1:52PM on 06/06/2014
Hollywood wants *less* money from me than it currently gets via disc purchases? Hmm, strange business model.
Hollywood wants *less* money from me than it currently gets via disc purchases? Hmm, strange business model.
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+0
9:48AM on 06/05/2014

Going backwards

anyone that knows or understand tech specs and the internet know there is no possible way in just 3 years that America will have the infrastructure to stream anything even close to BluRay level, not even close. Right now people are getting DVD quality with normally 2 channel sound and no special features. Take into account we cant even stream in true HD if we wanted bc we dont have enough bandwidth and then top that off to ISP's cutting quality for certain sites like Netflix bc they have a
anyone that knows or understand tech specs and the internet know there is no possible way in just 3 years that America will have the infrastructure to stream anything even close to BluRay level, not even close. Right now people are getting DVD quality with normally 2 channel sound and no special features. Take into account we cant even stream in true HD if we wanted bc we dont have enough bandwidth and then top that off to ISP's cutting quality for certain sites like Netflix bc they have a competing service with a much smaller catalog that they will give the best service to, while downgrading Netflix.
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9:23AM on 06/05/2014
I only stream the movies that I don't really care about. I still buy DVD's and Blu-rays. I hope that they never go away, but I think those of us that collect are in the [link] Here's my plan: I'm going to start stocking up on cheap blu-ray players and leave them in boxes in the closet. You can stop making discs, but you'll never take my freedom!!!
I only stream the movies that I don't really care about. I still buy DVD's and Blu-rays. I hope that they never go away, but I think those of us that collect are in the [link] Here's my plan: I'm going to start stocking up on cheap blu-ray players and leave them in boxes in the closet. You can stop making discs, but you'll never take my freedom!!!
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8:08AM on 06/05/2014
If/When everything goes digital to own, I will never "purchase" another movie. Since it's all for nothing, and eventually DVD/Blu Ray player will become obsolete, I'll probably start ripping my collection to digital now and sell them while they're worth something. Anyone wanna bet what the first all digital release is gonna be? My bet is a future Star Wars or Phase 3 movie. If Lucas still owned Star Wars it would definitely be that.
If/When everything goes digital to own, I will never "purchase" another movie. Since it's all for nothing, and eventually DVD/Blu Ray player will become obsolete, I'll probably start ripping my collection to digital now and sell them while they're worth something. Anyone wanna bet what the first all digital release is gonna be? My bet is a future Star Wars or Phase 3 movie. If Lucas still owned Star Wars it would definitely be that.
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+3
8:04AM on 06/05/2014
if itīs all up to my hard earned dollars, this will never happen.
i mean, streamed movies never come close to the quality you find on a physical media, plus, how are we ever going to see some cool extras? bloopers? behind the scenes stuff? all those goodies we love to see after weīve watched the movie. plus, you rent a movie and watch it, what if like me, you like to see some movies over and over again? you rent it again? thatīs messed up :S
iīll always want to own a disc of a movie i like
if itīs all up to my hard earned dollars, this will never happen.
i mean, streamed movies never come close to the quality you find on a physical media, plus, how are we ever going to see some cool extras? bloopers? behind the scenes stuff? all those goodies we love to see after weīve watched the movie. plus, you rent a movie and watch it, what if like me, you like to see some movies over and over again? you rent it again? thatīs messed up :S
iīll always want to own a disc of a movie i like enough to pay to watch.
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12:13AM on 06/05/2014

Give me my DVD!!!

Steaming is great if you don't care about "owning" the flick, netflix works on the basis of "hey look at the selection we offer" movies and tv shows I NEVER want to own, but I know shows like Top Gear and Finding Bigfoot are available streaming, anime there are too many titles to pick from! And screw buying all thousand seasons of Buffy or X-files or battlestar Galactica... Seriously just stream them but I do actually WANT to own movies like SKYFALL and Dark Knight Rises and the Hobbit trilogy
Steaming is great if you don't care about "owning" the flick, netflix works on the basis of "hey look at the selection we offer" movies and tv shows I NEVER want to own, but I know shows like Top Gear and Finding Bigfoot are available streaming, anime there are too many titles to pick from! And screw buying all thousand seasons of Buffy or X-files or battlestar Galactica... Seriously just stream them but I do actually WANT to own movies like SKYFALL and Dark Knight Rises and the Hobbit trilogy or Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings Or Star Wars on blue ray, and storing movies on the cloud? All that is, is an OPTION for me. It's NOT where I want to house a permanent collection of movies
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11:52PM on 06/04/2014
It might overtake but not wiping out home video market altogether. I sometimes watch HBO HD that states it has Dolby 5.1 sound system. Now I watch the same movie on the said HBO HD and on my Blu Ray which has DTS HD-MA 5.1. The Blu Ray sounds so much better. Besides, like many users said below, I too enjoy watching special features and behind-the-scenes stuffs.
It might overtake but not wiping out home video market altogether. I sometimes watch HBO HD that states it has Dolby 5.1 sound system. Now I watch the same movie on the said HBO HD and on my Blu Ray which has DTS HD-MA 5.1. The Blu Ray sounds so much better. Besides, like many users said below, I too enjoy watching special features and behind-the-scenes stuffs.
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11:34PM on 06/04/2014

Take thy Blockbuster, but not my heart.

Rental store closings were a hard pill to swallow, but it had to happen someday.
I get the extreme popularity of instant streaming (Netflix all day son) but this is a whole 'nother story. I can maybe understand for limited releases or smaller budget films to do early, for those who won't get a chance to see it. There's no way it will replace psychial copies, Film fans will never let that die out (we can adapt but not depart). Its a cold day in hell when I buy a limited collectors edition set
Rental store closings were a hard pill to swallow, but it had to happen someday.
I get the extreme popularity of instant streaming (Netflix all day son) but this is a whole 'nother story. I can maybe understand for limited releases or smaller budget films to do early, for those who won't get a chance to see it. There's no way it will replace psychial copies, Film fans will never let that die out (we can adapt but not depart). Its a cold day in hell when I buy a limited collectors edition set that has download codes instead of discs.
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-5
11:23PM on 06/04/2014

I was an addict

I had almost 4000 DVDs, and almost 1500 blurays (most of which were copies of ones I already had on DVD). I was at Best Buy every Tuesday for new releases, and scouring the Sunday paper advertisements for the best deals. Make no mistake, if this sounds familiar at all you have an addiction. I sold all my DVDs to get more blurays (at a fraction of what I payed for them). I eventually realized, when they started talking about 4k, that there would always be a next thing to upgrade to, and decided
I had almost 4000 DVDs, and almost 1500 blurays (most of which were copies of ones I already had on DVD). I was at Best Buy every Tuesday for new releases, and scouring the Sunday paper advertisements for the best deals. Make no mistake, if this sounds familiar at all you have an addiction. I sold all my DVDs to get more blurays (at a fraction of what I payed for them). I eventually realized, when they started talking about 4k, that there would always be a next thing to upgrade to, and decided to give it up and sell them all. It was hard, and I still look at the Sunday ads, but I haven't bought a single movie since. Having thing like Nettflix, Hulu, and ondemand is like having your own movie library anyway, and it's infinitely cheaper!
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10:16PM on 06/04/2014
Lets be honest people, how does Hollywood plan to replace physical Blu-Ray discs? Streaming via companies like Ultraviolet and even Netflix? Give me a break! Their quality couldn't touch the quality that a Blu-Ray has.
Lets be honest people, how does Hollywood plan to replace physical Blu-Ray discs? Streaming via companies like Ultraviolet and even Netflix? Give me a break! Their quality couldn't touch the quality that a Blu-Ray has.
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9:48PM on 06/04/2014

Long Live Blu Ray

I have owned VHS, 8MM(short lived option), DVD, and now Blu ray. To me you cant get better with Blu Ray without it looking fake. So I recently took a stand and went all in on Blu ray replace my movie collection. I treat them like visual books. I like looking over my shelf and seeing them. I am a fan of cover art. I only own digital copies of movies that I got for free when i bought the Blu Ray. Blu ray wont cost me extra if I stream using my phone eating up my data plan. Dont need an
I have owned VHS, 8MM(short lived option), DVD, and now Blu ray. To me you cant get better with Blu Ray without it looking fake. So I recently took a stand and went all in on Blu ray replace my movie collection. I treat them like visual books. I like looking over my shelf and seeing them. I am a fan of cover art. I only own digital copies of movies that I got for free when i bought the Blu Ray. Blu ray wont cost me extra if I stream using my phone eating up my data plan. Dont need an internet connection unless I need to update firmware.to watch my blu rays.
And not to mention, love going to see event movies at the theatre. It is a chance to get out of the house, watch with a friend or two without having to entertain at my house. I might change my mind if we start allowing people to bring guns to movies...Didnt we learn anything from the "Wild West"?
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9:42PM on 06/04/2014
Totally agree with Bodjac Redleif. I often enjoy watching the special features on a DVD or Blu-ray even more than watching the actual film.
Totally agree with Bodjac Redleif. I often enjoy watching the special features on a DVD or Blu-ray even more than watching the actual film.
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3:22AM on 06/05/2014
If digital streaming and downloads to take off in such a big way special features may still be available, maybe when you bought a movie you will have the choice to pay a few *insert your local currency here* more for the extras, for those who were into them.
If digital streaming and downloads to take off in such a big way special features may still be available, maybe when you bought a movie you will have the choice to pay a few *insert your local currency here* more for the extras, for those who were into them.
9:23PM on 06/04/2014

If I can't hold it, I don't own it

God bless...I mean....how on Earth are we ever going to have "property" again when we're beholden to pay someone to store and stream the things to me that I "own"? Screw that!
God bless...I mean....how on Earth are we ever going to have "property" again when we're beholden to pay someone to store and stream the things to me that I "own"? Screw that!
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8:02PM on 06/04/2014
Talk to me when Netflix starts putting newer films on their site on a regular basis. Until then I will be going to the theater a few times a month.
Talk to me when Netflix starts putting newer films on their site on a regular basis. Until then I will be going to the theater a few times a month.
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5:43PM on 06/04/2014

AT Home First Runs? Bring It On!!!!

If by doing this it means that I no longer have to go to a large darkened theatre full of people more interested in kicking seats, talking about their boyfriends, playing Angry Birds on their phones or talking loudly on them...If this means that I no longer have to put up with the non stop parade of zero attention kids racing across the screen in front on me when I'm trying to watch a film....if this means that for the money I ACTUALLY spend on seeing a film I want to see, and can't because of
If by doing this it means that I no longer have to go to a large darkened theatre full of people more interested in kicking seats, talking about their boyfriends, playing Angry Birds on their phones or talking loudly on them...If this means that I no longer have to put up with the non stop parade of zero attention kids racing across the screen in front on me when I'm trying to watch a film....if this means that for the money I ACTUALLY spend on seeing a film I want to see, and can't because of all of the above needless bullshit, and I can see it in the comfort of my own apartment? BRING IT ON!!!.....Communal movie watching used to be fun, and yes, there was a certain degree of in theatre hijinks that was part of the floor show...now? its a bunch of self indulgent pukes who think that their admission fee entitles them to spoil the show for the rest of us. BRING THIS ON, ASAP.....
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6:00PM on 06/04/2014
Im sorry but thats a bit a rarity for me to experience those issues
Im sorry but thats a bit a rarity for me to experience those issues
6:16PM on 06/04/2014
Pretty rare for me too. Also, the way we watch it on the silver screen is the way the artist intended us to see it. Not on a 80" LED screen.
Pretty rare for me too. Also, the way we watch it on the silver screen is the way the artist intended us to see it. Not on a 80" LED screen.
7:25PM on 06/04/2014
Jesus Christ what movie theater do you go to? Lol
Jesus Christ what movie theater do you go to? Lol
7:38PM on 06/04/2014
I've never experienced these things at a theatre. You may want to try a few others in your area if the one you go to is this bad.
I've never experienced these things at a theatre. You may want to try a few others in your area if the one you go to is this bad.
3:25AM on 06/05/2014
I have experienced these things though not often but I totally agree I can't wait for the opportunity to stream cinema releases. I really just go to the cinema to see the movie the novelty of it has worn off. For me, this advancement will be awesome!
I have experienced these things though not often but I totally agree I can't wait for the opportunity to stream cinema releases. I really just go to the cinema to see the movie the novelty of it has worn off. For me, this advancement will be awesome!
12:49PM on 06/05/2014
Everything I said in this post has happened over the course of the last year . Its getting to the point where I'm going to say screw it, i'll wait for the blu ray. The release window is almost down to 60 days now, and even the theatre I'm going to are offering , right on their screen a ' Premium Ticket package' that includes a PPV opening night premiere of the movie at home for you, so this isn't off in the future. its coming, and it can't come soon enough for me. BTW, the movie chain is the
Everything I said in this post has happened over the course of the last year . Its getting to the point where I'm going to say screw it, i'll wait for the blu ray. The release window is almost down to 60 days now, and even the theatre I'm going to are offering , right on their screen a ' Premium Ticket package' that includes a PPV opening night premiere of the movie at home for you, so this isn't off in the future. its coming, and it can't come soon enough for me. BTW, the movie chain is the Galaxy Theatres, part of Cineplex Odeon here in Canada. its bad enough with all the Crowd crap...but this this theatre is so unprofessional. You got kids running computerized projection equipment, and about 4 times in the last six months movie sound has dropped out, the picture went blank ( Right in the middle of the car chase sequence of Captain America The Winter Soldier) or the timers on the end of the run weren't set properly and the movies ended prematurely!!. If there was a local alternative, I'd gladly spend my money there...next closest city to me is Ottawa and that's over an hour by car, and I don't have one..so yeah, it is that bad, I ain't making any of this up.
5:43PM on 06/04/2014
And then your internet goes down and your digital cloud collection is useless to you and as Jim said below, if I cant hold it/touch it I do not own it
And then your internet goes down and your digital cloud collection is useless to you and as Jim said below, if I cant hold it/touch it I do not own it
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5:16PM on 06/04/2014

Just try to pry the discs out of my cold dead fingers.

I'll keep getting discs so long as they make them, and when the industry shifts - I'll pirate. Thanks, but no streaming for me. I like physical media.
I'll keep getting discs so long as they make them, and when the industry shifts - I'll pirate. Thanks, but no streaming for me. I like physical media.
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+8
5:00PM on 06/04/2014
Streaming might kill blu ray. But the theater will never die.

And just to elaborate, like other Schmoemen said below, the theater is an experience. Be it stage or a movie. That sense of communion, of escape will not perish. Not any time soon anyway. Maybe one day in a distant future if we're all virtually connected or watching a movie through some sort of "google glass"-esque device that tricks the mind into thinking it's watching a film on a theater sized screen. Either way, point is, for
Streaming might kill blu ray. But the theater will never die.

And just to elaborate, like other Schmoemen said below, the theater is an experience. Be it stage or a movie. That sense of communion, of escape will not perish. Not any time soon anyway. Maybe one day in a distant future if we're all virtually connected or watching a movie through some sort of "google glass"-esque device that tricks the mind into thinking it's watching a film on a theater sized screen. Either way, point is, for now... that "experience" will live on.
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4:51PM on 06/04/2014

All I am worried about is the death of Special Features and Commentaries.

Because it is certainly in a decline, and there is no excuse to not include atleast a commentary if able in the audio options.
Because it is certainly in a decline, and there is no excuse to not include atleast a commentary if able in the audio options.
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5:33PM on 06/04/2014
You know what my friend, you're absolutely right. But hopefully streaming services will take note and include special features and commentaries as options in the future.
You know what my friend, you're absolutely right. But hopefully streaming services will take note and include special features and commentaries as options in the future.
4:40PM on 06/04/2014

Wow I'm so glad that they decided for me.

I'm truly an analogue man living in the digital age. I love to go see movies and buy blus, I refuse to accept "streaming". If I can't hold it I don't feel like i own it. I know I'll be missing out, but that will truly be my loss.
I'm truly an analogue man living in the digital age. I love to go see movies and buy blus, I refuse to accept "streaming". If I can't hold it I don't feel like i own it. I know I'll be missing out, but that will truly be my loss.
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4:27PM on 06/04/2014
I know this is a bit off course but a friend and I were just talking about something similar today. The theater experience will never die. Every week when I plan to see a movie in the theaters, it's always an event with me. I can't explain it. And if it so happens to decline, so does my life. Not to sound over dramatic here but it's what I believe. The theater experience, enjoying a film with strangers and the ones you know, laughing, crying, cheering, clapping, those values can never be the
I know this is a bit off course but a friend and I were just talking about something similar today. The theater experience will never die. Every week when I plan to see a movie in the theaters, it's always an event with me. I can't explain it. And if it so happens to decline, so does my life. Not to sound over dramatic here but it's what I believe. The theater experience, enjoying a film with strangers and the ones you know, laughing, crying, cheering, clapping, those values can never be the same when watching just in the household. I remember watching LOTR the return of the king and the end battle got people cheering and standing and clapping in the theater. You can't get that at home.
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4:45PM on 06/04/2014
I miss that reaction in theaters for certain fun movies... I got a little bit of it back when i recently saw Godzilla in IMAX 3D on opening night... when he "creatively" killed that last MUTO, people were clapping and whooping and some just muttered "Damn!"... the theater is an experience I am not anywhere close to giving up
I miss that reaction in theaters for certain fun movies... I got a little bit of it back when i recently saw Godzilla in IMAX 3D on opening night... when he "creatively" killed that last MUTO, people were clapping and whooping and some just muttered "Damn!"... the theater is an experience I am not anywhere close to giving up
4:24PM on 06/04/2014
I will always want a physical copy over streaming. Streaming also only provides a fraction of the bitrate/quality delivered on standard Blu-Ray discs.
I will always want a physical copy over streaming. Streaming also only provides a fraction of the bitrate/quality delivered on standard Blu-Ray discs.
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