There's a lot of talk about digital distribution killing off physical media, especially in a world with super fast fibre broadband and high data plans. But the truth of the matter is that physical media is still selling well, and according to Danny Kaye, Executive Vice President of Global Research and Technology Strategy at 20th Century Fox, Australia is currently the top market in the world for number of entertainment transactions per person.
"Both our markets are made up of hugely avid DVD and Blu-ray fans," according to Kaye. And judging by the statistics Kaye uses to back up that claim, Australians purchase - on average - 13 movies per person, compared to the U.S. which buys 11.4 per person per year.
What's really fascinating is that even with those figures, there's still a decline in sales since the heady days of 2004, when nearly a billion movies were sold on DVD and VHS in the U.S alone. But we're still a long way from having digital distribution take over as the de facto method for movie consumption.
"It's gone from almost a billion [sales]to a little less than 800 million. Now some people would say that the industry has died, and I would say, '800 million of anything is a lot'. So it's a pretty strong business, but we can't ignore it" says Kaye.
At the moment, disc sales are still 95% of all sales, compared with the 5% of digital distribution. By 2012, that number will only grow to 9%, although obviously it doesn't factor in piracy...