A third of Americans still buy and rent video

Movie streaming is as popular as ever, but at least a third of Americans still rent or buy hard-copy DVDs, according to an annual entertainment survey. The survey notes that some video stores still cling to life, despite losing business to Web-based services like Netflix.
By Linda Mack | Nov 28, 2017
The video store isn't ancient history just yet. In an annual survey by the research firm NPD Group, one-third of U.S. respondents said that they still rent or buy movies on DVD in addition to streaming movies on-screen.

The survey, part of NPD Group's annual Entertainment Trends in America report, interviewed more than 7,000 U.S. consumers about their entertainment choices in August 2017. Americans watched an extra hour of TV and movies per week this August compared to August last year, the survey found. And they watched more on DVD: In last year's survey, only 26% said that they had rented or bought movies.

Many respondents said that they use streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, but they turn to renting or buying for certain films. The reasons why included some films not yet being available on streaming, or because the users wanted to own the movie on DVD for sentimental reasons.

DVDs of family films were especially popular, respondents indicated, explaining that their children like to watch the films over and over again. Some also said that picture quality on the DVDs was better than what they could get on a streaming service.

"When it comes to entertainment, few consumers limit themselves to one single option," said Graham Gee, NPD's president of video entertainment, in a statement. "Going out to the movies, watching cable TV, and viewing DVDs at home are still very popular activities, even as subscriptions to streaming services rise."

Netflix DVD rentals accounted for many of the DVD rentals, with around 3.5 million customers who pay extra to rent DVDs by mail. But some local video stores still survive, as well as around a dozen Blockbuster stores.

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