My Two Cents

New Blu-ray reviews, Paramount+, and The State of Physical Media in 2020: The Year-End Edition

January 20, 2021 - 1:26 pm   |   by
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We’ve got three more reviews for you today, plus some industry news. And we’re going to give you a preview of the final home media sales numbers for 2020. But first those reviews...

Tim has posted his thoughts on William Nigh’s The Ape (1940), staring Boris Karloff, and the joint-effort comedy Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) both now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Meanwhile, Dennis has offered up his thoughts on Cornel Wilde’s Beach Red (1967), also new on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

More reviews are on the way, so be sure to watch for them. [Read on here...]

CLICK HERE to BACK THE BITS in our fight to preserve Physical Media CLICK HERE to shop through our Amazon.com links and SUPPORT THE BITS CLICK HERE to visit The Bits on Facebook CLICK HERE to visit The Bits on Twitter

In industry news today, we have word from ViacomCBS that the CBS All Access streaming service is no more. It will officially be re-launched and rebranded as Paramount+ on 3/4. In addition to CBS TV network content, the new service will include offerings from MTV, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures. You can read more here at Deadline.

And now we get to the meat of today’s post... our informal look at The State of Physical Media in 2020: The Year-End Edition.

We’ve learned that the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) is expected to unveil their official Q4 and full-year sales numbers for 2020 in about a week. But as we’ve done a couple times throughout the past year, we can give you a little preview of the numbers based on Media Play News’ in-house home entertainment market research, along with previously-published DEG market data.

So here’s the Media Play News Weekly Disc Sales Revenue data for the complete year of 2020:

 

Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (Q1 2020 - all formats)

  • 1/4 - down 23.27%
  • 1/11 - UP 1.92%
  • 1/18 - down 7.04%
  • 1/25 - down 3.85%
  • 2/1 - down 11.12%
  • 2/8 - down 25.53%
  • 2/15 - down 30.11%
  • 2/22 - down 32.79%
  • 2/29 - down 6.76%
  • 3/7 - down 24.78%
  • 3/14 - down 34.83%
  • 3/21 - down 30.58%
  • 3/28 - down 44.92%
  • AVERAGE Q1 = down 21.05%

 

Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (Q2 2020 - all formats)

  • 4/4 - disc sales down 16.40% from the same week in 2019
  • 4/11 - disc sales down 16.57%
  • 4/18 - disc sales down 37.15%
  • 4/25 - disc sales UP 11.52%
  • 5/2 - disc sales UP 6.91%
  • 5/9 - disc sales UP 4.95%
  • 5/16 - disc sales UP 16.05%
  • 5/23 - disc sales down 1.41%
  • 5/30 - disc sales down 5.31%
  • 6/6 - disc sales down 15.22%
  • 6/13 - disc sales down 42.90%
  • 6/20 - disc sales down 12.82%
  • 6/27 - disc sales down 23.20%
  • AVERAGE Q2 = down 10.12%

 

Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (Q3 2020 - all formats)

  • 7/4 - disc sales down 20.66% from the same week in 2019
  • 7/11 - disc sales down 10.96%
  • 7/18 - disc sales down 35.01%
  • 7/25 - disc sales UP 23.09%
  • 8/1 - disc sales UP 17.53%
  • 8/8 - disc sales UP 27.13%
  • 8/15 - disc sales down 61.82%
  • 8/22 - disc sales down 36.29%
  • 8/29 - disc sales down 44.43%
  • 9/5 - disc sales down 34.33%
  • 9/12 - disc sales down 50.56%
  • 9/19 - disc sales down 36.13%
  • 9/26 - disc sales down 34.71%
  • AVERAGE Q3 (so far) = down 22.85%

 

Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (Q4 2020 - all formats)

  • 10/3 - disc sales down 49.96% from the same week in 2019
  • 10/10 - disc sales down 49.51%
  • 10/17 - disc sales down 3.51%
  • 10/24 - disc sales down 35.08%
  • 10/31 - disc sales down 34.75%
  • 11/7 - disc sales down 41.81%
  • 11/14 - disc sales UP 7.53%
  • 11/21 - disc sales UP 19.51%
  • 11/28 - disc sales down 59.80%
  • 12/5 - disc sales down 28.21%
  • 12/12 - disc sales down 28.01%
  • 12/19 - disc sales down 39.37%
  • 12/26 - disc sales down 18.79%
  • AVERAGE Q4 (so far) = down 27.82%

 

FULL YEAR 2020 NUMBERS:

  • Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (Q1 2020) = down 21.05%
  • Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (Q2 2020) = down 10.12%
  • Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (Q3 2020) = down 22.85%
  • Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (Q4 2020) = down 27.82%
  • Weekly Disc Sales Revenue (YTD 2020) = down 20.46%

So let’s put that in context. Physical movie disc sales have now dropped every year for the last TEN years, and in the last FOUR years by double-digit percentages. The official DEG numbers are due in about a week, but we can expect them to be down around 20.46% in 2020, per our calculations above. Per the DEG, the decline was 18% in 2019, 14.6% in 2018, 14.1% in 2017, 9.6% in 2016, 12% in 2015, 10% in 2014, 8% in 2013, 5% in 2012, and 12.3% in 2011)—a long, steady, but recently more precipitous decline—that as we can now see, has continued in the year of COVID.

My gut prediction for the year back in July (see link here) was this:

“So what does all this mean for physical disc sales in 2020 as a whole? It’s almost a certainty that they’re going to be down again this year over 2019. Very likely, they’ll be down again by double-digit percentages. And if I had to make an educated best guesstimate right now, I think we’re looking at a decline of anything from 9% to 30% for the whole year. But which end of that range the decline will be closer to is impossible to say right now.”

And here’s my August (see link here) update:

“It’s far too early to make a prediction for 2020 as a whole, beyond saying that physical media seems likely to be down by double-digits again this year, even as the transition to digital accelerates, and cord-cutting continues. Do keep in mind that physical media has declined by roughly double-digit percentages every year since 2012, so again this is not really a surprise.”

If the final official DEG number is close to 20.46%, that would be right smack in the middle of my July prediction.

What all this essentially means is that the nearly decade-long decline we’ve seen in physical media continued in 2020, pretty much right on track. But the good news is that it could have been a LOT worse, given the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly, the movie industry—confronted with an inability to release new movies into theaters and on disc—doubled its efforts to release significant and very deep catalog titles on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD, especially in Q4. And though the former feels like forever ago now, let’s not forget that 2020 saw the release of both the Star Wars films and The Lord of the Rings films in 4K. Going forward, 2021 may see the Indiana Jones films released, and we know that The Godfather films are coming in 2022. So there is still much to look forward to in the years ahead.

In any case, our advice to our readers is as always: If you love movies on disc, do everything you can to enjoy them and to support the studios and distributors that continue to release them. It will make a difference.

In the meantime, we’ll be back on the 27th to cover the official DEG numbers, and tomorrow with our usual news and reviews.

Stay tuned...

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

 

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