A new report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that streaming revenue will soon overtake box office revenue in the United Kingdom. That projection marks the first time that streaming revenue has been predicted to top British box office revenue, signaling a major shift in the film industry. According to a PwC analysis, total revenue from just two of the UK’s most popular streaming services – Netflix and Amazon – is expected to reach $1.81 billion by 2020, topping the projected $1.80 billion expected of cinema box offices.
Phil Stokes, UK head of entertainment and media at PwC, says that while some investors might be tempted to immediately sell of their theater holdings, the film industry will likely survive this shift:
Demand for internet video shows no signs of slowing down. The figures do not signal the death of film. Look at the box office performance of films such as Star Wars: Rogue One or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to see the significant amount of enthusiasm for blockbuster movies out there.
However, there will be some losers in this equation, and some theater stocks have already felt the sting of streaming’s new presence on the film market. PwC has also predicted that sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs will reach “terminal” levels as more and more consumers opt for streaming video-on-demand services as opposed to physical media. PwC’s Stokes added that “the failure in this market is the high street retailers, supermarkets and specialist stores as well as the shift to digital a lot of physical buying is from services like Amazon. And online streaming is bypassing high street retailers.” This shift is likely to only strengthen in the future, given the media habits of millennials and younger generations.
It makes sense – just one Blu-ray disc costs nearly four times as much as one month of a streaming subscription. If you’re a true cinephile, those discs can add up. So can streaming subscriptions, though, if you’re not careful.