Movie studios about to give up on DVDs

After years of fighting, movie studios have finally worked out that punters are no longer interested in DVDs and are planning to kill off the format.

According to the LA Times, studio executives think that the only way of turning around a 40 percent fall in home entertainment revenue is to speed the delivery of movies over the Internet.

Word on the street is that in the next few years we will see a growing number of consumers with internet-connected televisions, tablets and smartphones getting shedloads of options designed to make digital movie consumption more convenient and to entice users to spend more.

The argument makes sense, but it has been exactly what the studios have been fighting for years. It may also be the the biggest shift in Hollywood’s business model since the explosion of the DVD in the late 1990s.

David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures’ home entertainment unit, said that it was critical that the studios experiment as much as possible and determine how to build a vibrant market for collecting digital movies.

The studios still have the problem that streaming video hasn’t come close to making up for the rapid drop in DVD revenue. Part of this is the lack of selection and also it is still too tricky to downloading a film on one device and watching it on another. So far in the EU there has been no move to serve up movies online either.

Another problem is price. The movie studios currently are charging people $30 to rent a movie only two months after it debuts in theatres. While the still think they can charge huge prices for something that costs them little to distribute, people will probably just pirate it.