Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu: Streaming has people spending more than ever on home entertainment

Contributed by
Jan 10, 2018, 5:33 PM EST

If you’re a fan of having the freedom to rewind The Force Awakens anytime you please, just so you can cackle out loud every time Chewie answers somebody’s question with one of those hilarious, noncommittal grunt-shrugs, you definitely aren’t alone. The allure of watching movies and shows from the comfort of home continues to elevate the home entertainment industry to new highs.

A new report from the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) shows 2017 ended with a five percent rise in spending on home entertainment over the previous year, on the strength of a whopping 31 percent increase in subscription spending for video on demand.

Set those two numbers side by side — the five percent overall increase and the 31 percent increase in VOD — and it’s clear where the momentum lies. The DEG report doesn’t include spending on traditional cable services, but notes that physical media sales (DVD, Blu-ray and the like) declined yet again in 2017, sinking by 14 percent.

The more we see reports like this, the clearer it becomes that genre and streaming go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Every single one of the movies on DEG’s list of 2017’s 10 most-streamed movies is an animated, fantasy, or sci-fi title.

And in terms of studio dominance, here’s a scary thought: Disney won the year, and that’s without its still-in-development streaming service.

The studio claimed five of the films on the all-genre top-ten list — Moana, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Doctor Strange. The other five? All genre: Wonder Woman, Trolls, Sing, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Logan.

While no one’s sure what 2018 will hold, one thing’s certain now: Competition to give people complete control over how they watch movies and TV has turned the streaming space into the entertainment industry’s most interesting and heated battleground.