The Netflix rental model is beloved in my household, and we watch very different things on Netflix DVDs than we do on our DVR. However, a new study out of the UK by
a firm called Ofcom, the independent regulator of UK communications industries, suggests that DVR viewing may be cutting into DVD popularity. In other words, people are building up viewing material on their DVRs rather than bother with the inconvenience of procuring DVDs.
This is not a big shock, and certainly the trend is bound to continue as more and more video is available digitally and on demand. However, while Hollywood may temporarily make a big fuss over the loss of DVD revenues, it’s hard to imagine producers and distributors won’t get a little creative before long. They can still sell content digitally, and ultimately they’ll have a lot more flexibility in offering video and interactive extras. It’s kind of like the ruckus DVRs have created in the advertising world. Sure people can skip over ads now, but in a digital world, advertisers have lots of opportunity to foist their messages on us – from YouTube’s new ad overlays to services like Time Warner’s Look Back which blocks commercial skipping. If and when DVDs completely die out, there will still be no lack of money to be made.