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Survey: Digital Movie Purchases, Rentals Decline Slightly

30 Aug, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Consumers buying or renting movies online or via kiosk in the second quarter (ended June 30) dipped slightly, according to a new video trends report from Digitalsmiths, the online data company owned by TiVo.

In a survey of 3,100 respondents tackling a range of questions about pay-TV, VOD, pay-per-view, OTT and TV Everywhere, to connected devices and content discovery, 36.4% said they use a transactional VOD service, down from 38.3% during the previous-year period. The most-used was Amazon Video (16.3%), which was up from 15.6% a year ago.

The number of people using Redbox dropped to 15% compared with a year ago (18.1%). And iTunes dropped to 8.3%, from 9.3% a year ago. Another 5.6% said they use Google Play, which was up from 4.7%.

Indeed, Redbox, the nation’s largest packaged-media rental service, rented 123.6 million discs in the period, compared with 146 million in the prior-year period.

The bulk (46.9%) of respondents who use transactional VOD services spend $1 to $8 per month, a range that doesn’t seem to be expanding since respondents spending $12 to $30+ is down slightly from a year ago. 

Of the respondents who use TVOD services, 73.9% do so on a weekly basis. 
The majority (58.7%) watch five hours or less of content on the services per week.

As expected, the report found an uptick in subscription streaming use, with 63.9% said they use a monthly SVOD service, up 6.2% year over year, 13.2% over two years, and 29% over three years. Netflix was No. 1, used by 53.7% of all respondents, followed by Amazon Prime Video (24%), Hulu (11.8%), HBO Now (5.6%), Shomi (3.7%), YouTube Red (3%), CBC All Access (1.7%), Sling TV (1.5%) and PlayStation Vue (1.4%), among others.

Among respondents who use SVOD services, 92.8% do so on a weekly basis — with 58.6% watching two hours or less of content per day.

Notably, 10.4% of respondents do not pay for SVOD service, opting instead to share access with a third-party subscriber.

“It’s no secret that many consumers share accounts to dodge paying monthly fees,” read the report.

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