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First-Half U.K. Consumer Video Spending Up 0.7%

7 Jul, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Disney’s ‘Frozen’ discs, third-party digital sales and rental help sustain third-largest home entertainment market

Consumers in the United Kingdom spent an estimated £909 million ($1.5 billion) buying physical and digital video entertainment in the first-half of the year (ended June 30), which was up 0.7% from £903 million spent during the previous-year period, according to new data released by the British Video Association.

The tally, which does not include disc rentals, saw a 33% rise in digital sales and rentals to £360 million ($616.6 million), offset in part by a 13% decline in sales of new-release discs to £549 million ($940 million).

The U.K. home entertainment market is the third-largest in the world, according to IHS.

“Subscription is the key driver of growth for digital, but the emergence of new players in the digital retail landscape — namely Sky, BT and Amazon — is injecting new vigor into the market,” Richard Broughton, director of broadband at IHS, said in a statement.

More people consumed home entertainment than frequented a movie theater, with six times more people subscribing to either to Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video or Sky Now, according to the BVA.

Video entertainment is still dominated by sellthrough (70%) over rental (30%), with more than 63 million discs sold through June 30. Packaged-media ownership is dominated by DVD and Blu-ray Disc, despite the increasing popularity of downloading a digital copy. Discs represented 88% of the total ownership market, according to the BVA.

“These results demonstrate that tens of millions of people love buying and watching videos all year round, in both physical and digital formats. The top three titles alone sold almost 4 million copies between them in the first six months of this year,” Lavinia Carey, retiring director general of the BVA, said in a statement.

The notable driver in packaged media was Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s animated hit Frozen, which helped drive a 59% year-over-year spike in sales of children’s packaged video.

The remaining Top 10 selling titles in the first-half, included (in order): The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Home Video); The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate U.K.); Gravity (Warner); Thor: The Dark World (Disney); Rush (Studiocanal); Captain Philips (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment); The Wolf of Wall Street (Universal Studios Home Entertainment); “Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season" (HBO Home Entertainment); and 12 Years a Slave (Entertainment One).


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