The home video market gets a reboot
The Future. Since movies are mostly migrating right from theaters to streaming (if they even go to theaters), Hollywood may be leaving billions of dollars on the table by skipping out on the home video market. That’s bad news for both studios and creatives. During a time when Hollywood seems to be strapped for cash, finding a way to capitalize on every film release could be a winning formula to maximize profit for companies, put more cash in the hands of filmmakers, and give audiences some consistency.
The return of the rental
The DVD is on the hunt for its rightful place in the new age of streaming.
- The home video market (which includes digital sales and rentals, and physical media) brought in $6.3 billion in revenue last year, according to DEG.
- That may be a decline from 2021 (15% drop for rental, 8% for physical and digital sales), but that’s because streaming revenue hit a record $30.3 billion.
But there’s a problem: the streaming economy has proven to not be great for Hollywood, delivering less returns on a bigger content spend for a fixed monthly price. And when that applies to a studio movie going straight from theaters to streaming, the lifecycle of that movie making money is kind of over.
Bill Rouhana, CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (owner of Redbox), says he’s had constructive conversations with studios about the streaming-economy dilemma and is hoping to normalize a four-to-six-week home video window before movies show up on SVOD.
The argument is that, when in doubt, some people just want to quickly find what they want to watch and pay the price, says a distribution exec to Deadline. No scrolling, no headaches… and no harm to streaming.
All anyone has to do is look at The Woman King as an example. After Sony released it wide in theaters, it became a top-two rental on Redbox and then a top-three on Netflix in the US. That’s a win-win-win.