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Legal film downloading on the decline

Digital downloads - not catching on
Digital downloads - not catching on

The amount of consumers getting their movies online has slowed, with the lack of format compatibility cited as one of the reasons for the slowdown.

A report by Screen Digest has noted that digital movie downloads in 2009 hit $291 million in the US – some $70 million off of the projected target.

While movie distributors are hoping that digital is the next big thing for getting movies into homes, the names behind the technology don't seem to be doing enough to plug the gap left by dwindling DVD sales.

Blu-ray sales may be improving but price-wise it is still very much a premium product – unlike the relatively cheaper alternative that is digital.

Interest isn't there

There is a worry, however, that various DRM implementations putting people off purchasing digital copies of movies.

"Digital downloading is characterised by its restrictions – it's all about what viewers can't do, rather than what they can do," said Arash Amel, a Research Director with Screen Digest.

He continued: "The market just cooled off… This wasn't caused by economic factors – the level of interest in digital downloads just isn't there."

Hollywood will just have to set its sights on another emerging technology to give it the home entertainment boost it needs.

3D, anyone?

Via and MacWorld