Streaming Revenue Keeps German Home Entertainment Market Afloat

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

A jump in SVOD earnings makes up for a slow decline in traditional DVD sales and rentals.

The German home entertainment market continues to be the outlier in Europe, for now avoiding the industry collapse seen across most of the continent, and indeed most of the world.

Year-end revenue figures, published Wednesday by the German Federal Film Board (FFA), show home entertainment sales have held up, with a booming SVOD market compensating for a slower-than-expected decline in traditional DVD sales.

German consumers shelled out $2.26 billion (€1.83 billion) for home video entertainment last year, a slim (3 percent) increase on 2016 and the second-best result in the industry's history. Streaming revenue, which jumped 50 percent, or €162 million, to $602 million (€488 million), more than made up for a €15 million decline in rental revenue and a €93 million drop in sales from sell-through DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The sell-through market continues to account for the bulk of home entertainment revenue in Germany, making up 62 percent of total sales.

The question is, for how long? Physical DVD and Blu-ray sales fell 15 percent last year and it is not clear if growth in SVOD market will continue to outpace declines elsewhere.

The top seller on the German DVD and Blu-ray market last year was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.