Yes, America may soon be converting its Blu-ray discs into drink coasters. 2012 will be the year that viewers stream more movies than they watch on disc, according to a recent IHS Screen Digest, as first highlighted by Bloomberg.
This year, 3.4 billion titles will be streamed, up from 1.4 billion last year. Blu-ray and DVD consumption, meanwhile, is set to hit only 2.4 billion.
Amazon and Netflix account for the lion’s share of the streaming, with 94 percent of all streaming coming from those two companies.
“We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray,” Dan Cryan, IHS senior principal analyst, said in the statement. “But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business.”
A lot of the disparity comes down to what consumers must fork over to watch. The report noted that consumers paid an average of 51 cents per movie consumed online, compared to $4.72 for movies on a disc.
Like CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays will continue to exist as not everyone adopts the new technology or lacks an Internet connected TV. The chance for Blu-Ray to become the next DVD sensation, however, is about nil. Why throw out your DVDs for the same Blu-Rays when you can stream it all in high definition for an average 51 cents a pop?
Stylish drink coasters made from Blu-Rays, on the other hand, have a much better chance of catching on.