German Home Entertainment Revenue Slips in 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Freeman Still - H 2013
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Freeman Still - H 2013

Record viewing figures for the soccer world cup meant German fans bought and rented fewer films last year.

Home entertainment revenue in Germany fell around 5 percent last year to $1.86 billion (€1.64 billion), a dip largely due to last summer's soccer World Cup, which drew fans away from their DVD players.

But the fall was minimal and, coming after an all-time record year in 2013, points to the continued strength of the German home entertainment market.

According to official figures from home entertainment association BVV, DVD revenue last year actually fell nine percent to $1 billion (€899 million) and Blu-ray sales were slightly down at $458 million (€405 million). Online sales continue to boom, however, posting 29 percent revenue growth year-on-year. In 2014, turnover in the electronic sell-through market in Germany topped $75 million (€67 million), or 5 percent of the country's total home entertainment business. Taking other digital services such as VOD into account, digital accounted for around 9 percent of total home entertainment revenue in Germany last year.

The impact of digital has been strongest in the rental sector, with 31 percent of home entertainment rentals coming through VOD. The surge in only rentals has helped stabilize the rental market. Total rental revenue fell less than $7 million to $308 million (€272 million) in Germany last year. The BVV's figures do not include revenues from subscription VOD services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.

The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug was the top selling DVD and Blu-ray title in Germany in 2014, with local-language comedy Suck Me Shakespeer the rental title of the year.