Like VHS recorders before them, DVD and Blu-ray players will eventually vanish from U.S. households, as people transition toward options such as cloud storage for content that they own and streaming services for content they want to rent. And, like every media format transition before, this shift is posing challenges for libraries as they attempt to serve their existing patrons, plan for the future, and maintain circulation figures on limited collections budgets.
Library DVD borrowing has fallen sharply during the past year, and library users are rapidly migrating toward streaming services for both music and movies, according to the July 2012 edition of LJ’s Patron Profiles, which examines trends in Media Consumption and Library Use. DVDs are the top format for films loaned by libraries, and 27 percent of respondents said that libraries remain their primary source for movies—down from 36 percent in the first Patron Profiles survey, conducted less than a year ago. “A strong indicator of the changing media landscape is the rise of streaming and disc-by-mail services—both currently dominated by Netflix,” the report states.