Online beats physical by 1bn.
IHS iSuppli says, this year, Americans will choose to view more films via online streaming platforms such as Netflix – which run on mobile phones, tablets, desktops and laptops – than by physical platforms VHS, DVD and Blu-ray combined.
It claims online film streaming will reach 3.4bn transactions in the US this year, while physical will hit 2.4 billion.
Physical has long been the dominant platform in film, but online experienced a 135 per cent growth in 2011. It now looks set to become the leading platform for film viewing.
Dan Cryan, senior principal analyst, broadband & digital media at IHS, says: "The year 2012 will be the final nail to the coffin on the old idea that consumers won’t accept premium content distribution over the internet."
"In fact, the growth in online consumption is part of a broader trend that has seen the total number of movies consumed from services that are traditionally considered ‘home entertainment’ grow by 40 percent between 2007 and 2011, even as the number of movies viewed on physical formats has declined.
"After more than 30 years of buying and renting movies on tapes and discs, this year marks the tipping point as U.S. consumers now are making a historic switch to internet-based consumption, setting the stage for a worldwide migration of consumption from physical to online."