DVRs Killing DVDs


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.

5 thoughts on “DVRs Killing DVDs”

  1. Mari,
    I can’t see how DVR’s are even coming close to affecting DVD sales much except for possibly TV DVD’s. Yes you can load up your DVR with a bunch of shows and some movies, but to me, there will still be the need for the DVD.

    With regards to Neflix, I too use Netflix a lot – in my home Netflix is used as my Pay-Cable-Channel of sorts since I don’t subscribe to HBO, Max or any of the other premium channels.


  2. Since getting my TiVo I’ve dropped Netflix twice – there’s always something worth watching on the TiVo, and the DVDs were sitting unwatched for longer than I cared to admit.

    Now I can get my rental fix on the TiVo from Amazon Unbox for as little as a buck, which is another hit against Netflix (although the Unbox selection has a loooong way to go to apporach Netflix)

  3. We used to rent DVDs all the time, but ever since we got HBO, we record movies — in HD.

    It’s cheaper (and smarter than) than getting a Blu-ray or HD DVD player.

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