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DVD and Blu-Ray Sales Nearly Halved Over Five Years, MPAA Report Says

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In its annual Theatrical Home Entertainment Market Environment report, the Motion Picture Association of America described an immensely sharp drop-off of physical media sales over the past five years. According to the data, which was obtained from DEG and IHS Markit, global sales of video disc formats (which in this context means DVD, Blu-ray, and UltraHD Blu-ray) were $25.2 billion in 2014 but only $13.1 in 2018. That’s a drop in the ballpark of 50 percent.

Don’t expect 8K Blu-rays or other emerging quality-focused formats to turn the tide, either. Market data published by Forbes showed that the aging, low-definition DVD format still accounts for 57.9 percent of physical media sales, and 4K Blu-rays are only 5.3 percent. With drops that sharp, you’d expect apocalyptic financials for companies making and distributing movies. However, while there are certainly losers in this trend, the overall industry actually grew over the same period. Home entertainment spending grew 16 percent in 2018 thanks to surges in consumer spending on digital video services from players like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. The report says that subscriptions to online streaming services grew 27 percent globally to 613.3 million in 2018, surpassing cable subscriptions (at 556 million) for the first time ever. “However, cable still drives more overall revenue than streaming — it was the highest revenue platform in 2018, with $118 billion globally,” Ars notes.

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Africa: Greener, Longer Life – More Trees Reduce Premature Deaths in Cities

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Tbilisi — City dwellers tend to live longer if they are in leafy neighbourhoods, according to a study that links green areas to lower rates of premature death

City dwellers tend to live longer if they are in leafy neighbourhoods, according to a study published on Wednesday that linked green areas to lower rates of premature death.

Trees in cities are already credited with cooling and cleaning the air and absorbing planet-warming gases, now researchers at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health have found they also keep death at bay.

“More green space is better for health,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, director of the institute’s urban planning, environment and health initiative. “People actually live longer if there is more green space around.”

The research, which pulled data from nine other studies involving more than eight million people in seven countries from China to Canada, was the largest ever conducted on the subject, the authors said.

Researchers used satellite images to quantify how much vegetation, including trees, grass and shrubs, was within 500 meters (550 yards) of people’s homes.

Levels of vegetation were ranked on a scale under a system known as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI).

Those involved in the study were followed for several years. Any premature deaths caused by health conditions such as heart or respiratory diseases were factored in.

The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal, found that in cities from Barcelona to Perth, a 10% increase in greenery led to an average 4% reduction in premature mortality.