Digital movie rentals increased 5 percent during the first half of 2012 compared with a year earlier, according to NPD Group, while DVDs and Blue-ray discs fell 17 percent. Physical rentals still make up 62 percent of the market while digital is 38 percent, most of that from subscription streaming. Matter of fact, the digital increase was attributed to Netflix's Watch Instantly service. The company says it added 530,000 U.S. streaming subscribers in the second quarter while losing 850,000 DVD customers. From Cnet's Lance Whitney:
As a Netflix subscriber, I relish the convenience of picking a favorite movie or TV show to watch on the spot. But too many films and TV shows are still available only as physical rentals, leaving me little option but to continue to order by mail. I'm also a behind-the-scenes guy, usually interested in hearing commentary tracks and watching bonus material. But streaming content lacks those features. Often I'll rent a movie or certain TV episode on disc just to get those nice extras. Video streaming needs to catch up with physical rentals in both availability and options for it to truly take off in the market.