A newly issued report from the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) says that entertainment-hungry consumers sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic drove digital home entertainment transactions through electronic sell through (EST) and video on demand (VOD) to reach the figure of $596 million in March 2020.
According to DEG, this number represents an increase of 48 percent over March 2019, and the sector’s highest monthly revenue to date.
Stay at home orders rolled out across the U.S. beginning in mid-March, though some consumers had started to limit social activity even earlier in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus. During March, theatrical product was especially strong, rising 57% on EST and 67% based on the DEG’s numbers.
The industry trade group points out that another factor driving these numbers was that a number of wide-release movies were released to the home market. Overall, U.S. consumer home entertainment spending in the first three months of 2020 was $6.9 billion, a 15 percent increase from the $6 billion consumers spent on home entertainment products in the same period in 2019.
Digital Entertainment Group Highlights for Q1 2020
Some of the other numbers released by the DEG include:
- The 15% increase in U.S. home entertainment spending in the quarter coincided with a nearly 5% drop in box-office performance for the films released in the period
- For the full quarter, total digital spending, including transactional rentals and purchases and subscription streaming was up 24% over the first three months of 2019 to reach the $6 billion mark
- Consumer spending on subscription streaming increased 27 percent in the quarter from the year earlier period
- Overall, EST spending rose nearly 13% in the quarter compared to the year earlier period, with strong sales of television products, which were up almost 19%