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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Library DVD Rentals Surpass Netflix

According to a recent study released by OCLC, a nonprofit library co-operative and research organization, more people are visiting libraries to rent movies rather than receiving them through the mail, using distribution kiosks or going to traditional movie rental establishments.

The survey, conducted in January, found that, “public libraries in the United States lend an average of 2.1 million videos every day, slightly more than the 2 million that Netflix ships.”1 On a daily basis, libraries also distribute more videos than Redbox (1.4 million) and Blockbuster (1.2 million), according to daily averages provided to OCLC by company representatives.2 And while the graph below from OCLC's study presents slightly different stats than the text cited above, one would assume the discrepancy lies in the 2 million DVDs NetFlix ships versus what they distribute overall, including the online market.

The dominance of libraries as a source for DVDs clearly indicates that libraries are no longer a place for just printed books and reference materials. According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Loans of “video materials per capita more than doubled during the study period, increasing from 73.5 video materials per 1,000 people in [Fiscal Year] 1999 to 166.7 video materials per 1,000 people in [Fiscal Year] 2008, an increase of 126.6 percent.”3 The institute also confirmed that audio collections, like CDs and audiobooks, have increased nearly 50% between the fiscal years of 1999 and 2008.3

As circulations increase so does the rate of patrons visiting libraries. According to a survey of Seattle library users, “In the past decade, visits to Seattle libraries increased nearly 57 percent, from 4.6 million in 2000 to 7.3 million last year.”4 As the country fights to emerge from a recession, it seems natural that more people are taking advantage of the free resources libraries offer. When borrowing from the library, patrons only face the occasional late fee. Comparatively, according to OCLC’s study, “Americans spend over $22 million for DVD rentals at outlets like Netflix and Redbox.”2

According to Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes, movie-loving patrons may also be looking beyond DVD mail distributors and kiosks for their rentals because of delayed new releases at Netflix and Redbox.5 Certain studios like 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Universal Home Studios Entertainment have placed a 28-day window on their distribution of new releases to rental kiosks. Libraries, on the other hand, are not subject to the delays and can offer patrons access to materials the same day they hit retail stores nationwide.

With more patrons turning to libraries for audiovisual materials, it is important to keep relevant and robust collections. Luckily, Midwest Tape makes finding popular titles easy. The first panel on our website always features new DVD, CD, Audiobook, Blu-Ray and Playaway releases. You can also find the latest Hot New Releases, under the Quick Links tab.

Additionally, Midwest Tape offers numerous flexible Customized Standing Order plans for audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs. Our experts are constantly researching and finding the hottest and most popular titles. Every two weeks, you will receive a cart of hand-selected titles ready for your collection. Click here for more information about specific standing order plans.

Do you find your patrons borrowing more DVDs than other materials? How is your library preparing to keep up with the increasing demand for DVDs?






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