Movie industry now feeling the effects of transition away from high-margin disc media


Now you’ve gone and done it. “It” being, maybe, freaking out the entertainment industry by not buying as many DVDs as you used to. (That, incidentally, sorta gibes with a study that come out today.) One of them there Lehman Brothers analysts downgraded numerous industry stocks yesterday because he doesn’t like how people are now downloading movies more and more often. Studios don’t make as much money of, say, iTunes downloads as they do when you swing by Wal-Mart or Best Buy and buy the physical DVD or Blu-ray. But, doesn’t digital distribution cost a lot less than shipping discs all over the world? I have no numbers to back that up, but having a movie on iTunes seems like it should cost less, bandwidth and all that included, than the alternative.

Basically, as consumers discover the numerous ways to download movies, both legally and illegally, the studios will be forced to move away from relying on disc sales to make money. Yes, just like the music industry had to do.

That said, there’s still something about buying a disc and plopping it in your player, then sitting back and watching a movie. Not for me, I’ll download all day long, but the guy who works all day then just wants to see a movie before going to bed without having to fiddle with his computer.