Digital video spending climbed by 33 per cent in the first half of 2014.
New figures from the British Video Association show that in the first six months of this year, consumer expenditure on digital video fuelled a rise in home entertainment. Digital spending jumped 33 per cent to £360 million, pushing total spending (excluding physical rentals) from £903 million to an estimated £909 million.
Entertainment is still dominated by buying to own rather than renting, notes the BVA, to the tune of 70:30. More than 63 million discs have been sold this year so far, a sign that DVD and Blu-ray still dominate ownership. Indeed, physical media represented 88 per cent of the ownership market in six months to June 2014, despite distributors encouraging the rising popularity of downloads by releasing digital copies early.
Home entertainment, then, is doing very well. Consumer research also shows that more people buy videos than go to the cinema or listen to Radio 2, while six times as many pay for a video subscription service such as Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, Sky Now and Netflix. With tablet purchases on the up and broadband speeds accelerating, people are keen to watch – and own – things at home.
Richard Broughton, Director of Broadband at IHS, comments: “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 vigour into the market.”
What is telling, though, is the other driving force behind the increase in video spending: kids. Digital may be important, but so are littluns. This year, spending on new release DVDs jumped 59 per cent for children’s titles, predominantly Disney’s Frozen; a sign that families are buying titles to own together.
Game of Thrones is the best-selling TV title of 2014 so far, followed by Game of Thrones, while the overall DVD chart is led by Frozen, followed by The Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games, Gravity and Thor: The Dark World. Rush, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, Game of Thrones Season 3 and 12 Years a Slave complete the top 10.
Lavinia Carey, Director General of the BVA, comments: “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.”