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DVR Hurt U.K. Disc Sales Long Before Digital Media

9 Jun, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Digital Video Recorder

Increased use of the digital video recorder in the United Kingdom had an impact on sales of movie and TV show discs long before the arrival of digital media, according to the British Video Association.

Citing research from IHS, the BVA said the DVR two years ago precluded the arrival of digital media services such as subscription streaming and electronic sellthrough (EST) by putting downward pressure on packaged media — heretofore the dominate home entertainment format in the U.K.

Indeed, in 2006 the digital market was worth £85 million ($143 million) with transactional VOD representing 95% of sales. By 2010, the digital market topped £233 million ($391 million), with transactional VOD at 54% and EST at 30% share. Last year, the digital market reached £610 million ($1 billion), with transactional VOD at 33%, EST at 21% and subscription streaming at 46%.

“Change to the U.K.’s retail landscape is irreversible. The closure of retailers that carried range depth has effectively caused step changes in physical video sales and reduced consumer appreciation of discs both for personal consumption and as a gift,” the BVA said.

The trade group reported the data in its annual 2014 Yearbook, which is slated for imminent release, and was disclosed by Cue Entertainment.

The introduction DVRs in 2002 from satellite operator BSkyB (Sky Plus) and Virgin Media’s V Plus in 2005 coincided with a steady decline in DVD sales, according to the BVA. The subsequent launch of Blu-ray Disc failed to dampen physical sales as it also coincided with the bow of the BBC’s popular iPlayer — one of the first TV Everywhere platforms in the world.

“The remaining [entertainment] retailers have retained a narrower selection of product, one focused on new release and promotional titles and catalogue discs have become a destination purchase rather than a casual impulse purchase,” the BVA said.


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