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comScore: Video Games Drive E-commerce

10 May, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Movie discs remain marginally positive

Ongoing demand for video games, consoles and accessories contributed to a 12% increase in first-quarter (ended March 31) e-commerce consumer spending, according to comScore.

The Reston, Va.-based online data measurement-company said consumers spent $38 billion on Internet purchases during the quarter compared to $33.9 billion during the same period last year.

The growth in the quarter was due to an increase in number of buyers (up 7%) and transactions per buyer (up 9%), but accompanied by a slight decline in dollars per transaction (down 4%). The top 25 online retailers accounted for 67.7% of dollars spent online — the same percentage as last year — and down from a peak of 70% in 2010 as small and mid-sized retailers regain lost market share.

Packaged media, which included music movies and TV shows, remained marginally positive and unchanged from last year, according to Andrew Lipsman, senior director of industry analysis with comScore.

“It was still relatively strong, but not in the top five [categories],” Lipsman said.

He said game sales tend to mirror the release of high-profile new releases and/or hardware innovations. In addition, Lipsman said increased digital availability of movies and TV shows continue to negatively effect physical sales — a reality that has yet to occur with games.

“Digital distribution of games has always been around, but it has existed in the shadows of physical product,” Lipsman said.

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