The DVD sales bar graph has gone from a big staircase to a very flat, long table. After years of double-digit percentage revenue growth, it is expected DVD sales will only grow 2 percent this year. This isn't good news for Hollywood--which has already been struggling with uneven box office seasons the past few years.
What now? Back to bigger summer blockbusters? Don't expect that--not when DVD sales windows continue to move closer to the theatrical opening dates. High-definition DVD are supposed to be the savior--but that's down the road.
So, nothing in entertainment lasts forever. Perhaps this is a cautionary tale for video sellers--specially with all those iTunes, VOD, and Internet deals the major media companies made over the last eight months.
You never know where the video business potholes exist. As a cyclist, that means you are suddenly on the road, with road rash.
The problem? A glutted and greedy marketplace. Did we really need that box set of "McHale's Navy"?
"We were shameless," Steve Beeks, the president of Lions Gate Entertainment, told The New York Times. "We would release special editions as long as people would buy them."
And if you think this is bad, analysts say in the future Hollywood will pray for 2 percent gains, at $16 billion in sales per year. In four years the market is expected to go in the other direction--collapsing by 20 percent.
That's really show business.
Weirdly, and somewhat in retro mode, Netflix, the DVD-by-mail rental service, expects to see its business still grow over the next six years. Apparently, viewers like renting better than owning. (How many times can you see "Ghost" or "The Deer Hunter" anyway?) The company expects to grow to 20 million customers in the years to come.
With all that in mind, expect Netflix to sell the company in 2010. It's just show business. Rumor has it hologram videos are in--just watch yourself while driving to work.