Home entertainment spending is up, continuing to confound skeptics but emboldening all traditional media creators. Entertainment content will surely be around. But its exact form is still anyone's guess.
Consumer spending on home entertainment rose more than 5% in the first quarter of this year, to around $4.7 billion. The spending was pushed by theatrical titles becoming available on disc and through digital distribution.
This is nice music to the ears of entertainment content owners. It is perhaps especially nice that physical sales of entertainment from discs is rising, including Blu-ray and Ultraviolet, among new technology names.
Some of this comes from the changing definition what buying physical discs. Walmart, for one, has a service where you essentially upload your disc to the cloud and then have access to the content. Buying "Iron Man 2" can give you access to the movie on all electronic devices
Traditional TV and film content producers complain that, in the short term, monetization of other video digital platforms isn’t working -- or at least, that those platforms won’t to replace traditional distribution platforms anytime soon.
Neflix may be the exception, apparently. CBS says Netflix has instantly made the still-young CW Network, its partnership with Warner Bros., profitable after years of red ink.
There was also growth in overall spending on digital content – which rose 26.2% to $1.56 billion, all from electronic-sell through (EST), video-on-demand (now $614 million), and subscription streaming ($709 million).
Higher-quality television sales must also buoy big media providers. Consumers bought 9.4 million HDTVs in the first quarter 2013, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, which says now the total number of HDTV homes in the United States is now more than 112.6 million.
All this means that traditional TV -- or "new" traditional TV in terms of what smart TV apps can do -- will still be in vogue for a long time. But what exactly will it look like? Scores of cheap reality shows? Short- duration series with episodes of just a few minutes long? Content that has low or unrecognizable brand value? Determining the answer is the job at hand.