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BizReport : Internet : March 26, 2012

Streaming movies online overtaking physical rentals

New research from IHS Screen Digest suggests that more movies will be watched online this year than on physical media. Meanwhile, LOVEFiLM has released figures from February that show its members stream more movies than they rent.

by Helen Leggatt

According to IHS Screen Digest, 3.4 billion online movie viewings will take place in 2012, up from 1.4 billion last year. At the same time, viewings of movies on physical media such as DVDs and Blu-ray are forecast to drop from 2011's 2.6 billion to 2.4 billion.

"We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media," says Dan Cryan, IHS senior principal analyst, adding that "the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business."

Melovefilm-logo-2008.gifanwhile, Amazon-owned and Europe-based LOVEFiLM is reporting that February saw the first time in the company's history that streaming exceeded rentals. Up 200% on the previous February, LOVEFiLM's European members streamed 20% more film and television programs than rented DVDs, Blu-rays and games.

"The first quarter of 2012 has shown us two things: that LOVEFiLM members are watching more films and TV series both on the Internet and on DVD than ever before and; in less than three years, streaming through LOVEFiLM Instant has become more popular than renting DVDs," said Jim Buckle, Managing Director of LOVEFiLM.

Tags: download, DVD, movie, movie rental, online media, physical media, streaming

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