Home-Video Sales Rise 4.9% in Quarter, Ending 3-Year Slide

U.S. consumers spent $3.93 billion on home-entertainment videos in the third quarter, a 4.9 percent gain from a year earlier and the first increase since early 2008, a trade group said.

Sales of Blu-ray discs, online purchases and rentals from kiosks rose for the quarter, the Digital Entertainment Group, a trade association affiliated with Hollywood studios, said today in a statement. The increase offset tumbling DVD revenue and shrinking rentals from stores.

Studios are focusing on digital distribution of movies and television shows to TVs, computers and mobile devices, to make up for declining in-store business. Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. is offering two titles, “Horrible Bosses” and “Green Lantern,” this month on UltraViolet, an online service that sends digital copies of movies to smartphones and tablet computers. Universal Pictures, the studio controlled by Comcast Corp., and Sony Pictures also have announced plans to release movies through UltraViolet.

Digital electronic sales rose 13 percent to $135.9 million during the quarter and video-on-demand rentals were up 4.9 percent to $419.9 million, the association said. Sales from physical stores fell 29 percent to $353 million.

Digital electronic sales are movies that are purchased and downloaded online through services including Apple Inc.’s iTunes and Time Warner’s Flixter.com.

Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net.