Video on-demand made up almost one-third of UK video sales in 2013, according to new figures.
Digital transactions totalled £618 million in 2013, a surge of 40 per cent, retailers have revealed. That rise significantly boosted the entertainment industry, with the video, music and games market increasing 4 per cent to £5.4 billion last year – the first rise the sector has seen in several years.
Digital services such as Netflix and iTunes made up 30 per cent of video sales, worth a total of £2.06 billion, as consumers increasingly turn to on-demand platforms as a way to watch TV shows and films.
Kim Bayley, Director General of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), told the BBC the figures were “a stunning result after at least five years of decline”.
The best-selling video title of 2013 was Skyfall, with 2.96 million units snapped up following its February release. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey came close behind with 2.06 million units sold since its release in April.
Physical formats are far from dead, though, making up 56 per cent of music, video and game sales in the UK in 2013. Indeed, Blu-ray proved a strong favourite among buyers, with sales nearing £252 million – a 10 per cent rise from 2012.
Nonetheless, the figures mark a growing shift towards watching video online. In the US, Despicable Me 2 recently broke home entertainment records to become the best-selling digital title in its first week. On this side of the Atlantic, 2013 saw Tesco’s pay-per-view service blinkbox advertise heavily to promote Game of Thrones, as well as the launch of Sky’s NOW TV Entertainment Pass and rental plaform Sky Store plus the arrival of new pay-per-view and subscription site Wuaki.tv.
As the digital sales grow, the UK VOD market continues to expand to match demand. What will the figures show this time in 2015?