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Survey: Rental Bests Sales, Free VOD Usage on the Rise

29 Mar, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Rentals of DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies topped a February consumer survey, with 35.9 million households opting to rent a new release, compared with 31.2 million households who purchased the title, according to a new report.

The findings, compiled by research firm Centris, underscore continued strong demand for packaged media despite surges in electronic distribution.

Additionally, while 32.2 million households split between ordering a movie on demand (18.3 million), through pay-per-view (9.7 million) or by download (4.2 million), more than 25 million households opted for free on-demand programming when available.

“In just one year, the number of households that ordered free VOD rose by more than 10 million, an increase of more than 75%,” said the report. “Some of this new demand was driven by fiber and satellite based service providers.”

Centris said digital cable subscribers (40%) were more likely to watch one free VOD program per month than satellite subscribers (17%).

Interestingly, the report found that two-thirds of households that used free VOD also opted to purchase one or more premium channels.

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