Blu-ray and DVD's decline not happening in all regions, says Lionsgate EVP
Image/Photo Credit: Media Play News
The narrative that disc sales are giving way to digital sellthrough and streaming is borne out through sales stats that show a steady decline for DVD and now even Blu-ray, but it appears many people are still buying discs, according to Walmart.
Walmart, traditionally strong in rural areas, says that while it may be readily apparent that disc sales are struggling in the populated coastal areas of the U.S., it isn't the case everywhere.
"We still sell a lot of DVDs at Walmart," said Thomas Hughes, EVP of worldwide TV & digital distribution at Lionsgate. "We're on the coasts, so we don't see it. But other people still buy DVDs."
Hughes was speaking at the "Future of Video" confab in Marina del Rey, California, an event organised by research firm Parks Associates'.
Disc sales, particular for DVDs, have declined rapidly since the format's peak more than 10 years ago. This Black Friday, for example, DVD sales were down 20.8% compared to the same sales event last year. While Blu-ray sales were slightly up, thanks largely to UHD Blu-ray discounting, it is still down more than 12% from Black Friday 2013, when the format was at its peak.
But it appears Lionsgate's Hughes's assertion is that disc sales are down all across the nation - some areas are still holding out for discs over streams.
To test out this assertion, Media Play News visited a Walmart in Travelers Rest, S.C., and found that the "top sellers" section was emptied of many Blu-ray and DVD titles. When asked about why discs were still selling well at this particular Walmart, an employee there answered: "You'd be surprised. It's the holidays, people want DVDs in their Christmas stockings."