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DVD rentals plunge in UK

The market for Blu-ray and DVD rental in the UK is predicted by research group IHS to fall 22% this year, as half the country’s Blockbuster video stores shut down in a restructuring effort driven by the company’s new management.

The UK market for physical-video rental is expected to drop to GB£ 202mn (US$ 312mn) in 2013, down from GB£ 259mn in 2012, representing the sharpest predicted annual decrease for the 11-year period from 2007 through 2017.

Blockbuster entered administration last January, with half of all UK stores to close by the end of 2013. This will leave 264 Blockbuster stores open in the country, to be operated by restructuring firm Gordon Brothers Europe and supermarket chain Morrisons.

Describing 2013 as a “massive watershed” for the UK video rental market due to these closures, IHS senior analyst Tony Gunnarsson predicts that from now on, the UK physical-video rental business will increasingly be dominated by online rent-by-mail subscription services.

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