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IHS: Global Consumer Spending on Movies Up $1.3 Billion

21 Jan, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Packaged media revenue projected to top 31% of global movie consumption through 2016

Consumers worldwide spent $62.4 billion watching movies in 2012, up from $61.1 billion in 2011 and $60.1 billion in 2010, according to new data from IHS Screen Digest.

The increase was due in part to higher demand of locally-produced movie content in Asia Pacific, especially in countries such as India and China, in addtion to 3D releases. Indeed, the U.S., 2012 box office increased 6.5% to $10.8 billion from $10.1 billion, while ticket sales increased 6.4% to more than 1.3 billion, accordiong to boxofficemojo.com. Yet, among the top 20 studio releases, 65% ticket sales came from foreign box offices, which was down 2% from 2011. 

El Segundo, Calif.-based IHS said consumers were tracked on their movie spending and consumption across 37 countries in five different global regions via four delivery platforms, including theaters, purchase and rental of physical disks on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, pay-TV video-on-demand, and digital retail buys and rental.

North America again accounted for the biggest consumption of movies by region with spending at about $80 per capita per year, and accounting for 41% of worldwide movie spending in 2012. As in Western Europe, spending on physical media declined, offset by increases on spending on digital platforms and in cinemas.

Consumer spending on movies increased significantly in other regions — by 17% in Central and Eastern Europe, and by 7% in Latin America. However, these markets still remain very small, with only an 8% combined share of worldwide spending in 2012.

As expected, consumer spending on movies — either purchased or rented on physical discs — declined from $24.4 billion in 2011 to $23.7 billion in 2012, down 3%. The global decline is forecast to continue for both DVD and Blu-ray purchases and rentals, with rentals projected to overtake physical purchase as the second-largest generator of worldwide consumer spending on movies.

“Unlike theatrical, physical media is subject to competition on price, inherent to retail in all environments,” Tania Loeffler, analyst for video at IHS Screen Digest, said in a statement.

Loeffler said the average price for physical purchases dropped 2% between 2011 and 2012.

The analyst said physical media is forecast to lose a 10% share of total worldwide consumer spending, from 39% in 2012 to 29% by 2016. Even so, physical will still account for a combined 31% of total worldwide movie transactions by 2016.

The preference for physical rental among consumers is translating into the digital space. This is true even in regions like Western Europe, where physical purchases traditionally dominated physical video transactions.

On the whole, transactional VOD and digital rentals from over-the-top services such as Apple’s iTunes vastly outpaced the number of digital movies purchased in 2012. Pay-TV VOD transactions rose 16% in 2012 to reach 685 million in number, while digital rentals grew 61% to reach 174 million. In comparison, digital purchase transactions climbed to just 52 million.

Total consumer spending on buying and renting movies on digital platforms continued to see strong growth, climbing to $4.9 billion in 2012. However, total digital movie spending accounts for just 7% share of worldwide movie expenditures.

“This trend, along with the increased dominance of lower-value rental transactions, will result in physical media struggling to maintain its share of worldwide movie spending,” Loeffler said.

Overall, theatrical revenue again led the market, growing 7% from 2011 to reach $33.4 billion in 2012. Theatrical accounted for 53% of all movie transactions.

The report found that growth for consumer spending on movies globally is recovering after declines in 2008 and 2009, with spending forecast to continue to rise by 2% to 3% every year from 2013 to 2016.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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