Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Milestones: Online Movie/TV Viewing

Two milestones for online movie streaming (i.e. Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon Prime, etc.) -

A new research report from eMarketer predicts that sometime in the next year, more than half of U.S. Internet users will report regularly watching TV programs and/or movies online.  Movie and TV streaming services utilize a range of business models, from subscription (Netflix, Redbox, Hulu) to ad-supported (Crackle) to a la carte (pay per view like Apple or Wal-Mart) to inclusion with cable channel subscription (HBO, ESPN).  Or some combination of the models, as with Amazon's Prime, PPV rental, and purchase options.  And all seem to be working fairly well, leading to the other big milestone.

In 2012, TV/movie streaming revenues were greater than home video (DVDs, BluRay Discs) rentals and purchases in the U.S.  As was the number of movies viewed.  The primary revenue-generator for movies/TV is shifting again, this time to online streaming licensing and direct PPV revenues (a number of studios are creating their own online streaming service to market their movies and TV series directly to viewers).

The other recent big study number was that the mobile app global market in 2012 was $11.7 billion, more than U.S. domestic movie ticket sales.  Projections suggest that within a couple of years, the global mobile app market will generate more revenue than the global movie ticket market.

Its about time for the movie industry to shift from defining itself in terms of a physical medium of distribution, and thinking of itself primarily as a content production and distribution industry.  Many are, which is good news for the future of the industry.

Sources -  Digital TV, movie streaming reaches tipping point,  Advanced Television
Digital TV, Movie Streaming Reach A Tipping Point,  eMarketer press release
27 Leading Characters in Hollywood's Big Digital Play,  Digital Hollywood/Fast Company

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