Movie and Video Distribution in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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The Movie and Video Distribution industry suffered due to external competition as studios distribute their own content and bypass industry operators; going forward, growth in demand for TV and media content will slightly counteract distributor bypass. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Women's and Children's Apparel Wholesaling industry in its growing industry report collection.

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Digital distribution, although a threat to revenue, will boost profit margins.

The Movie and Video Distribution industry has suffered in the face of external competition, as digital technology enables production studios to distribute their own content and bypass industry operators. Moreover, per capita disposable income has fallen in the past five years, suppressing growth in key markets, such as retail stores and movie theaters, and ultimately lowering demand for distribution services. Consequently, industry revenue is expected to decline at an annualized 1.7% to $2.0 billion in the five years to 2013. Curtailed by distributor bypass and declining sales of physical copies of media, revenue will drop an additional 1.3% in 2013. According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Darryle Ulama, “To support revenue and offset waning demand for distribution, the industry has increased its reliance on existing libraries of content and independent productions.”

Digital platforms that allow consumers to indefinitely access media content have risen in popularity, due to their convenience and wider selection offerings. These platforms have the potential to boost consumption of movies because it limits the sharing of media content, offering a source of growth for the industry. However, digital distribution will also limit industry growth because it encourages distributor bypass by allowing studios to easily provide content directly to consumers. As bypass accelerates, the number of industry enterprises is expected to decrease at an annualized rate of 4.8% to 384 over the five years to 2013. Distributors have consolidated their operations in an attempt to broaden their value-added service offerings. Illustrating this trend, RLJ Entertainment acquired Acorn Media Group and Image Entertainment in 2012 to become a major industry operator and appeal to a larger market.

In the five years to 2018, growth in demand for TV and media content will slightly counteract distributor bypass. “Furthermore, the continued trend toward digitalization, although a threat to revenue, will cut time and costs for distribution companies, helping to boost profit margins,” says Ulama. Increasing media outlets, such as on-demand and online television, will also offer new opportunities to distributors, but will spur competition. Industry revenue is expected to grow slowly during this time period.

This industry has a low level of concentration, which can be explained by the fragmented and private nature of distributors that rely on industry contacts in niche and local markets. Distributors are heavily dependent on content produced by movie and TV studios, and must set up long-term contacts in cinema, TV broadcasting and retail industries to make sales. The personal nature of these contacts, combined with the costs of acquiring content, often limits distribution companies to a specific region or to a specific genre of content. In addition, the establishment of, and increased reliance on, in-house distributors of major movie and TV studios have further limited the content available to independent distribution companies. Nonetheless, consolidation is leading to an increase in the market share concentration. For example, RLJ Entertainment Inc. became a major company in 2012 after acquiring two prominent industry players: Image Entertainment Inc. and Acorn Media Group.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Movie and Video Distribution in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

The Movie and Video Distribution industry primarily circulates audiovisual works to cinemas, TV networks, other exhibitors and stores. The industry excludes movie and TV distributors that are also involved in audiovisual content production and retailers, rental stores and merchant wholesalers that distribute prerecorded physical media and music distributors.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
IBISWorld Inc.
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