(MONEY.CNN) — U.S. movie buffs will pay to watch more movies online in 2012 than they will on physical video formats like DVD. That historic first marks a tipping point for Hollywood — and its business model.
The stat comes a report that research firm IHS iSuppli released late Thursday. Online views, or paid “transactions,” will hit 3.4 billion this year, compared with 2.4 billion for physical copies, according to IHS’s forecast.
It’s a big change from the figures IHS clocked last year. In 2011, physical videos easily stayed on top with 2.6 billion views, compared to 1.4 billion for online.
That’s a 135% year-over-year increase for online video. IHS expects the trend to accelerate.