Report by Wiggin LLP also notes that 32% of UK consumers expect to watch more 3D content in next year.
The number of people regularly watching Blu-ray DVDs has more than tripled since 2008, according to a survey commissioned by UK media law firm Wiggin LLP into consumer trends and preferences in digital entertainment.
Of the 1,592 UK consumers aged between 15-54 who were questioned, 8% said they regularly watched Blu-ray Films, as opposed to only 2% in 2008. Looking ahead, 41% of the respondents thought they would be watching more films on Blu-ray in the next 12 months.
Interest in 3D technology was also on the rise according to the survey, with 32% of people expecting to be watching more content in 3D in the next 12 months and 24% of people surveyed saying they would opt for a 3D TV when they next purchased a television. On the other hand, 47% of those surveyed said they didn’t own a DVD player.
Cinema going is also up by 2% on last year according to the survey, with 22% of those asked saying that they went to the cinema “regularly”, as opposed to 20% in 2009 and 21% in 2008. 30% of those surveyed said they intended to go to the cinema more in the next 12 months.
Despite the growing fear of piracy in the industry, file sharing has remained constant in the last three years, with 5% of those surveyed “regularly” downloading unauthorized films using file sharing sites. On the other hand, only 55% of those surveyed said it was important to protect the creative industries from piracy.
44% of those who illegally downloaded films said they would be willing to pay a small monthly fee in order to carry on using their favourite site, rising to 51% of 25-35 year old males. 59% thought $4.30 -$5 (£3 -£3.50) a reasonable fee, but 25% would be willing to pay up to $21 (£14.50) per month.
However, the jury is still out on whether the newly passed Digital Economy Act (DEA) will have any impact on behaviour with 34% of those engaged in piracy saying that they would not stop, despite the DEA’s threat of internet suspension.
When it comes to ways of preventing piracy, 25% of those polled say that the most effective and fair way to stop piracy is to block access to unlawful websites, with this figure rising to 33% among teenage males.
David Quli, partner at Wiggins, whose clients include the BBC and Channel 4, told Screen: “All the findings suggest to me that people are looking for greater quality and they seem to be prepared to pay for it. They are trying to recreate the cinematic experience at home. But the fact that the cinema figures have remained steady is also very encouraging for the industry.”
“It sounds like Blu-ray is developing a life of its own over and above conventional DVD and creating a new income stream for the industry. One thing that struck me, and this may be me over analyzing, is that people renting blu ray has increased from 5-6% whereas we are talking about nearly a doubling of people watching them. It suggests to me that people are now buying the DVDs.”
On the issue of piracy Quli added: “Although it’s encouraging that people would be prepared to pay for content, one thing that slightly concerns me is that the amount they would be prepared to pay is broadly the same as music, but of course for the film industry we have got a much higher base production cost, somehow we need to be dragging it higher in order to make the business model sustainable.”