Digital Entertainment Group: Quarantining Fuels Media Sales

The Digital Home Entertainment Group (DEG) says that home entertainment transactions hit the $596 million mark, which is a 48% increase over the March 2019 figure.


Popular titles such as the final "Star Wars" movie, "The Rise of Skywalker" were among the new video releases to hit store shelves in March 2020.

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%

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.


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