Americans Vote for Home Entertainment with Their Wallets

Consumer spending on home entertainment products was strong during the second quarter of 2016, rising 6 percent over the same period last year, according to preliminary numbers released by the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).

Total U.S. home entertainment spending exceeded $4.3 billion for the second quarter, bringing the year-to-date total to $8.9 billion, up 2 percent over the first half of 2015. The DEG also reported that 95 percent of American households—just over 104 million—now have at least one HDTV; more than 85 million households have one or more Blu-ray playback device (including set-tops and game consoles).

Shining brightly, sales of 4K Ultra HD (UHD) TVs were up 119 percent from a year earlier as consumers continued to embrace the three-year-old format that delivers images with four times as many pixels as standard high-definition. To date, more than 8 million UHD TVs have been sold with 1.4 million sold since the second quarter of 2015.

The DEG reported that more than 45 UHD Blu-ray titles were available in the first half of the year with sales approaching 300,000. Sales of both physical discs and digital content increased more than 4 percent to $1.7 billion for the quarter. Blu-ray Disc sales, in particular, were robust, growing 35 percent over the same period last year.

Sales of digital HD content—also referred to as electronic sell-thru&mash;grew almost 9 percent in the quarter, driven by sales of movies, which were up 20 percent for the first half of the year thanks to a strong slate of new releases.

Spending on subscription streaming increased more than 15 percent during the second quarter compared with the same period in 2015.

Video on demand (VOD) platforms also experienced respectable growth, increasing more than 7 percent for the quarter and remaining on par with first quarter growth.