UK online digital video spend soars

NBCUniversal's Ted

NBCUniversal’s Ted

Figures published by the British Video Association show a massive rise of 49 per cent in viewers’ spend on digital video entertainment during 2012. With over 40 digital services available offering a range of options for consumers to download and stream video entertainment on connected devices, the digital market is now estimated by IHS Screen Digest to be worth £0.5 billion. Digital now accounts for almost 22 per cent of the UK’s £2.3 billion+ video entertainment market.

The figures reflect the changing ways in which viewers now access and enjoy video entertainment and the growth of secondary screens. There are close to 7 million connectable devices in UK homes, with the growth in expenditure on tablets up 128 per cent as 18 per cent of British households now own at least one, according to GfK’s data. Figures published by the BVA in 2012 found that 64 per cent of tablet owners had downloaded an entertainment app and 60 per cent chose to watch video entertainment on their tablet rather than their PC. The research also found that 62 per cent of smartphone owners had downloaded an app enabling them to watch entertainment.

Nevertheless, the video entertainment market is still dominated by the purchase and rental of DVD and Blu-ray Discs. Physical discs took over 78 per cent of all 2012 consumer expenditure, accounting for more than £1.8 billion of the total £2.3 billion video market. The Blu-ray format also showed growth; its value share of the 2012 Top 10 titles was 29 per cent compared to 24 per cent in 2011, over 20 per cent higher.

Commenting on the figures, Lavinia Carey, Director General of the BVA said: “2012 saw the video entertainment market continue to evolve as the competition to win over digital consumers intensified. More people now have the knowhow, technology and services to get their video entertainment digitally; the significant rise in value reflects its increasing popularity. However, this doesn’t mean all users have stopped buying DVD or Blu-ray in favour of digital; many are buying both for different needs. In fact the Blu-ray format, which delivers the best possible high definition picture and surround sound experience, saw an 8.9 per cent rise in volume sales and increasingly Blu-ray players are connected to jumbo-size wall-mounted TVs. Early figures indicate the UK video entertainment market was worth £2.317 billion in 2012, a great result in difficult economic circumstances, demonstrating people’s continuing love affair with great films, drama, comedy, music, sport and children’s programmes.”

The top sellers by volume on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in the Official Video Chart for 2012 were: The Dark Knight Rises, The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Avengers Assemble, Ted and War Horse.

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