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US home video spending rises 5 pct in 1st quarter in continuing sign of recovery

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The home video market showed further signs of recovery in the first quarter, rising 5 per cent thanks to growing sales of Blu-ray discs and the rise of subscription streaming services like Netflix.

That’s according to an industry consortium, The Digital Entertainment Group.

U.S. spending of $4.7 billion was helped by sales of home movies that were strong performers in theatres, including “Skyfall,” ”The Hobbit” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” The business-boosting Easter holiday fell in the first quarter this year, instead of the second quarter a year ago.

The gain marked the first year-over-year increase since the third quarter of 2012.

Sales of physical discs rose 2 per cent to $2.1 billion, spending on rentals fell 12 per cent to $1.0 billion, while spending on digital formats rose 26 per cent to $1.6 billion.