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Sales Of DVD, Blu-ray Plummet, Causing Consternation In Hollywood

The Financial Times has some troubling news for Hollywood: "Sales of new DVDs have collapsed, falling 20 percent [below the year-ag quarter] and presenting a significant challenge for Hollywood film studios, according to figures released on Monday."

The drop is attributed to consumers favoring streaming online, buying a digital copy on iTunes or watching them through subscription services like NetFlix. The Los Angeles Times reports the raw numbers:

Digital Entertainment Group reported Monday that overall spending on home entertainment fell to $4.2 billion, down 9.8% from the same period a year earlier. Hardest hit were new-movie purchases, which fell 19% for the first quarter compared with a year ago, when four major blockbuster films were released on DVD and Blu-ray disc.

Physical and digital sales amounted to $2.2 billion for the period, off markedly from $2.7 billion a year ago. Blu-ray disc purchases were up 10% from a year ago, but these sales were not enough to make up for falling DVD sales.

The Hollywood Reporter adds that traditional rental spending — meaning going to a brick-and-mortar store to rent a movie — was down 36 percent.

Studios, adds the FT, are facing the same seismic shift that the music industry has been through, so they've already started to make the shift to digital by making cinematic releases available for streaming shortly after they premiere. The move, however, has created a rift between Hollywood and traditional movie theaters.

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.