Netflix rises as studios’ DVD money plunges

Not long ago, ambitious young executives at the six major Hollywood film studios maneuvered to get into the home entertainment divisions.

Nowadays, getting assigned to home entertainment is like being sent to the Eastern front. Better to work in theatrical distribution, international, or maybe studio facilities. Recently, I spoke with an executive from one of the big studios who, while discussing the challenges of working in the film industry, noted there was one silver lining: “At least I don’t work in home entertainment.”

The studios’ home-entertainment divisions typically oversee sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs as well as Internet distribution. But the DVD has long been synonymous with these units for the simple reason that the discs account for the vast majority of revenues. This week, Sony, Time Warner, Viacom and News Corp., reported earnings and their film divisions continue to see falling DVD sales.

For the quarter ended December 31, Paramount Pictures saw a 44 percent decline in home video revenue from the same period a year ago, according to Viacom, Paramount’s parent company (don’t people give DVDs as holiday gifts anymore?)…;editorPicks

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