VOD revenue drops to $1.97B in 2014, reversing positive growth trend

Video on demand revenue took a nosedive in 2014, reversing years of growth and throwing up red flags among those feeding the home entertainment market.

Citing data from the Digital Entertainment Group trade organization, The Wall Street Journal reported that cable, satellite and Internet VOD rentals dropped 6.7 percent to $1.97 billion last year, marketing the end of an ongoing growth trend. While total revenue from in-home entertainment--including DVD and Blu-ray sales--fell 1.8 percent to $17.8 billion, the biggest concern was VOD.

"The VOD market is so big and important…it's critical that we get it growing again," Ron Sanders, president of home entertainment for Time Warner-owned Warner Bros., said in the story.

Sanders suggested better user interfaces and more options to rent and watch movies on portable devices. Some entertainment execs noted in the story that there is another potential cause for the lackluster results: unpopular movies.

Rentrak, which keeps an eye on the movie box office, said that ticket sales were down more than 5 percent over the year, marking the worst results since 2011. Attendance was also down, of course.

This was reflected in DVD and Blu-ray sales that dropped 11 percent year-over-year, a result that also showed consumers are moving away from physical media. Kiosk rentals, reflected by Redbox, were down 4 percent.

For more:
-The Wall Street Journal has this story (sub. req.)

Related articles:
Double whammy: Sony to release 'The Interview' on YouTube, other VOD outlets as well as in theaters
Daily Netflix viewing climbs to 36% of subs in 2014, report says
Online video market surges forward as streaming options grow in 2014: Year in Review