Motion picture studios usually hold back films from video-on-demand services until at least a month after the DVD release. This, their thinking goes, will prevent VOD from cannibalizing the sales of discs — the content owner’s most profitable medium.
A new study, however, turns that thinking on its head. Forrester Research found that contrary to conventional wisdom, on-demand movies hardly affect DVD sales at all.
In households where a member watched an on-demand film, the family bought essentially the same number of DVDs. To be precise, the household purchased only one percent fewer DVDs, which comes to one-tenth of a single DVD in a year.
“Just because it’s available on demand and they can see it once doesn’t mean they no longer want to purchase it,” Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester, told The New York Times.
However, the reverse was true for DVD rentals. VOD users told researchers they rented about 11 percent fewer movies on DVD.