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U.K. Digital Video Revenue Topped Physical For the First Time in 2016

5 Jan, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Revenue data factors in SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

Digital sales and rental of movies and TV shows (including subscription streaming) in the United Kingdom in 2016 surpassed packaged media for the first time, according to new data from the Entertainment Retailers Association.

The trade group said electronic sellthrough revenue topped £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion), up 22.8% from £1 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2015. Sales of DVD and Blu-ray dropped nearly 17% to £893.6 million ($1.1 billion), while disc rentals plummeted 21% to £49.3 million ($61.2 million).

Overall video sales spiked up 2.2% to £2.25 billion ($2.79 billion).

The biggest-selling video was Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with 2.3 million units sold. By comparison, the title sold more than 6.9 million discs in the U.S.

"The strength of the DVD and [music] CD formats over the Christmas period shows that physical still dominates when it comes to gifting,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley said in a statement.

When combined with music and video games, digital distribution boosted U.K. media revenue by £1 billion ($1.24 billion). Digital accounted for 57% of music revenue, 58% of video and 74% of the games market.

Indeed, total entertainment spending, including £1.1 billion ($1.36 billion) in music, £2.9 billion ($3.67 billion) in video games, and £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) from Netflix, Sky, Amazon (Instant Video and Prime) and Apple iTunes, increased 3% to £6.3 billion ($7.8 billion).

“The music, video and games industries were understandably nervous about the advent of new digital services, but these figures provide resounding evidence of the benefits of our members’ investment in [digital] innovation,” Bayley said. “To put it another way, take away today’s digital services and the entertainment market would be barely a third the size.”


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