“The DVD is only 10 years old and yet the doom merchants are predicting it could join the likes of VHS tapes – vanishing from high-street stores and household shelves,” reports the Guardian‘s Katie Allen. “With reports that Apple is poised to launch full-length film downloads in Britain and other companies offering their own video-on-demand services, even DVD industry insiders admit the format may eventually die out.
“Yet they argue that the collectability of box sets, the convenience of re-watchable discs and the relatively slow growth of downloads mean there is still plenty of life left in the little silver discs.
“The British Video Association (BVA), which last month celebrated the DVD’s 10-year milestone at a gala dinner complete with metallic dress code, expects to hold more celebrations in a decade’s time. Lavinia Carey, head of the industry group, says that while its research shows the growing popularity of services such as the BBC’s iPlayer and movie downloads on Tiscali, consumers still prefer to own – and give as presents – physical copies.
“Lots of people are getting used to the idea of accessing their content online but there is also this collecting habit,” she says. “There are so many uses for the physical disc that people won’t just drop it like a hot brick. Particularly for TV shows….people love the boxed sets. They love to have the collection and they love to be able to watch it when they want.”
“The BVA concedes that after being largely flat in volume and value terms in recent years, the DVD market is unlikely to see much growth. But digital films will absorb only a fraction of home entertainment spending — about 6% by 2012.
“Screen Digest, a media research firm, predicts that by 2012 digitally delivered films will make up 2.6% of total spending of about 2.2 billion poounds on full-length films.