DEG says COVID-19 Fuels Spending on Home Entertainment

The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) says that quarantining is driving the public’s increased consumption of digital media.


The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) says consumers spent more than $1.5 billion on digital entertainment transactions through electronic sellthrough (EST) and video on demand (VOD) during the second quarter of 2020.

These numbers represent an increase of 54% over the same period a year earlier, as consumers nationwide continued sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DEG points out that stay-at-home orders rolled out across the U.S. beginning near the end of the first quarter, fueling digital entertainment demand among consumers that remained strong throughout the first half. For the full first half, consumer spending on digital entertainment transactions reached almost $3 billion, a 34% increase.

During the second quarter, transactional demand was strong across purchase and rental models, with spending rising 57% on EST and 50 percent on VOD. For the first half, EST and VOD each grew 33%. Overall, U.S. consumer spending across digital and physical home entertainment formats in the first six months of 2020 was $15.1 billion, a 26 percent increase from the $12 billion consumers spent in the same period a year earlier.

More 2020 Q2 Findings from the DEG:

  • For the first six months of 2020, total consumer spending on digital formats (including EST, VOD and subscription streaming) was strong, rising 37% from the same period in 2019, while subscription streaming alone also climbed 37%.
  • Consumer demand for theatrical releases continued to grow robustly across digital formats, as numerous wide-release movies came early to the home. Spending on theatrical EST rose 48% in the second quarter and 26 percent in the first half. Spending on theatrical VOD, meanwhile was up 73% for the second quarter and 55% for the first half.
  • Theatrical catalog titles showed particularly strong growth, with EST and VOD spending on these titles growing 66% in the second quarter.
  • The TV category also experienced robust growth, with spending rising 120% on VOD and 72% on EST in the second quarter.
  • Internet-delivered VOD grew 76% in the second quarter and 56% in the first half as service options continue to proliferate and are embraced by consumers.
  • Consumers interest in DVDs reignited, slowing the disc format’s decline. After years of double-digit declines, spending on DVDs was off just 6% YOY in Q2. Wallet-conscious consumers embraced product with price points below $10 and theatrical catalog under $6 especially was in high demand, posting a 3% YOY growth in the second quarter.
  • Top titles during the second quarter include Bad Boys for LifeStar Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Sonic the HedgehogHarley Quinn: Birds of PreyJumanji: The Next LevelBloodshot (2020), 1917, Dolittle and The Call of the Wild (2020).

About the Author

Robert Archer
Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob has also served as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In his personal time beyond his family, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.