Report: Internet film viewing to surpass disc viewing in 2012

More and more people are choosing to watch features films via an Internet-based service versus buying them on physical DVD or Blu-Ray disks. The Los Angeles Times reports that according to a new study from IHS Screen Digest, 3.4 billion movies will be watched by consumers in 2012 on streaming Internet video services such as Netflix and via downloads on iTunes and other online stores.

By contrast, the report states that in 2012, just 1 billion movies will be bought on DVD and Blu-Ray disks combined. However, the study predicts that revenues from DVD and Blu-Ray movies will total $11.1 billion in 2012, compared to just $1.72 billion for Internet-based purchases of feature films.

Part of the reason for this difference is that the cost to purchase and view a movie via the Internet has been lowered thanks to Netflix, Hulu and other services that charge a small monthly fee to watch all of their library of films at any time.

Hollywood movie studios have taken notice of streaming movie services and have launched their own way to combat it with UltraViolet. This recently launched service is included in some new DVD and Blu-Ray movie releases, and allows customers to not only own the physical copy of the film but to gain access to a cloud-based version of the same movie that can be streamed to the PC and various mobile devices.

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