Maybe Apple is right in that the future of media purchasing and renting in all digital and online. Though I still like my CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs, consumer spending on home entertainment stabilized in 2012, down only slightly from 2011, helped by a notable improvement in box office reducing year-over-year declines in DVD sales, according to BTIG Research.
However, rental spending did not provide the same boost as it did in 2011 as Netflix de-emphasized DVD-by-mail, says the research group. In 2013, BTIG says consumer spending on home entertainment will fall high single-digits as box office resets from an abnormally strong 2012 and access to movie content increases notably thanks to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBOGO, Showtime Anytime and Starz Play.
In turn, several studios begin to revisit their release windows, with a focus on reducing the theatrical to home entertainment window. While windows shortened by 14 days to 3.5 months in 2012, expect more to attempt 30-60 day windowing (post-theatrical) in 2013, disregarding the tacit conclusion of the exhibition industry to maintain 3-4 month windows.
All of which can only be good news for Apple and iTunes.