Netflix and Disney + are winning subscribers as lockdown boredom sets in

Lockdowns may have got us spending more time in front of the television but it won’t help the ailing physical video market. Instead, consumers are switching even faster to streaming sites, with Netflix, and Disney+ among those that are attracting subscribers at a rapid rate, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Zoe Mills, Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Streaming has been a significant disruptor in the video market, with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime enticing consumers to invest in their services at the detriment of physical DVD and Blu-ray sales. The COVID-19 pandemic is set to exasperate this market even further as not only is there a major new entrant to streaming but also with more people spending time at home, investment in these subscription services appears more worthwhile as consumers are able to use them more regularly.”

Following its initial US launch in November 2019, Disney + became available in several European countries in March 2020 just as many of these countries entered lockdowns.  It reached its global target of 50 million global subscribers five months after its US launch – an achievement that took Netflix seven years to accomplish.

Mills continues: “It is clear streaming services are becoming integral to consumers’ lives and the numerous lockdowns across the world are encouraging people to spend more time in front of the TV or on a laptop. This will have a detrimental impact on the sales of DVDs for retailers not only during the lockdown but after as well as consumers are tied to these subscriptions and have less of a reason to purchase a physical film.”

The woes of the video market are heightened by a number of key film releases being delayed. The latest James Bond instalment has seen its cinematic release date postponed until November, ensuring its DVD release date will not happen until 2021.

Mills concludes: “Previous James Bond releases have offered a boost in retail sales and while this will instead be felt in 2021, for retailers already in trouble, with no notable releases this year, 2021 may be too far away.”

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