Advanced Television

Digital video at tipping point, DVDs remain resilient

July 16, 2015

By Colin Mann

Figures presented by the British Video Association (BVA) at the bi-annual Insight Forum, hosted by the BVA and supported by Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and Digital Entertainment Group Europe (DEG Europe) indicate that while the digital home entertainment market is at crucial mass market tipping point, physical product continues to hold its own and show resilience in the rapidly evolving video market place.

One in two of the population is familiar with downloading digital content and 55 per cent of those that purchase digital content consider themselves converts to the format. Conversely the BVA forecasts a swing of 10 per cent in favour of new release movies on DVD and Blu-ray, suggesting sales within elements of the category are on track to grow by 2 per cent across 2015 (2014 -8 per cent vs 2015 +2 per cent), bucking the trend of recent years.

The event, ‘Consumers, Content and Change across the Video Category’, emphasised the commercial opportunity ahead across physical and digital formats, through mapping the latest shopper insights and consumption trends (commissioned specifically for the event) against the forthcoming release slate.

Robert Price, Managing Director of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Chair of the BVA said that Official Chart Company research indicated that since 1994, there had been 3.3 billion videos, DVDs and Blu-rays sold. “If laid end-to-end they would reach half a million miles, the distance to the moon and back! The value of video sales today equates to £4 million on physical and £2 million on digital each day, illustrating that although physical ownership is still dominant, digital is an important driver of growth. This represents a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on shopper demand and work hand-in-hand with retailers to maximise the opportunity across all outlets and platforms to showcase new releases and draft catalogue across all formats,”

Ian Ditcham, Category Director – Electrical UK & Entertainment & Media, Tesco Stores, described the video category as “vital” to retail, questioning what other product group offered such an engaging opportunity to bring products to life outside of the core category aisle. “Video presents new opportunities every week for cross category conversions thanks to franchises and the emotive connection consumers attach to filmed content. The halo effect video has across store is magnificent; however, intrinsic to our collective success is the collaboration between distributors and retailers. Which is why it is brilliant to see the BVA leading this collaboration with such determination that the commitment and enthusiasm to drive the success of the category is infectious,” he noted.

In a keynote speech, on ‘Growing the Pay TV Audience’, Gidon Katz, Managing Director, NOW TV, Sky’s OTT service, suggested its growth had shown that there is a huge appetite for video content that is delivered in a way that suits the lifestyle of particular audiences. “It’s reassuring that the BVA and others are driving such pioneering insight-led change and championing a collaborative approach to the benefit of everyone across the industry,” he declared.

Kim Bayley, CEO at ERA,said that video was the backbone of the entertainment business, accounting for 40 per cent of total sales and nearly half of the market for physical product. “Key to its success has been the collaborative approach of retailers and video distributors and a joint commitment to deliver the video content consumers want in the way that they want, both points typified by today’s event,” she added.

Nicola Pearcey, President of Distribution, Lionsgate UK and Joint Chair of DEG Europe, said that DEG Europe was proud to be championing collaboration across the video industry, alongside its colleagues from the BVA and ERA. “This event represents a collective commitment to the category and a fundamental step forward to further strengthen the future of the industry,” she stated.

“The forthcoming slate represents significant opportunity not only for the new release drivers, but also for catalogue products across digital and physical formats. We must work cohesively as an industry to capitalise on this opportunity through retail set up both in-store and online and continue to provide video entertainment solutions that put consumers first,” concluded Liz Bales, CEO at the BVA.

The event brought together over 200 video industry representatives from across supply chain, distribution, retail and digital environments, demonstrating a clear appetite for collaboration across the industry.

Key Insights from the Event

UK Video Entertainment – The Market in Figures

  • In a major turnaround, sales of New Release films on DVD and Blu-ray are on track to grow 2 per cent in 2015
  • Half of the GB population (24m) buy videos to own every year
  • £51.03 = average spend per buyer, per annum on physical disc
  • 57 per cent of all DVD and Blu-ray sales are impulse purchases
  • 55 per cent of all DVD and Blu-ray sales are for catalogue product
  • The typical disc shopper is a C1, C2 male aged 25-54, with an average purchase of six discs per annum
  • Those who buy Blu-ray discs to own are the most satisfied shoppers
  • Amount spent per day, UK Video Entertainment Market

– £3.5 million disc to own

– £400k digital to own

– £300k disc to rent

– £1.8 million digital to rent

  • One in two of the population is familiar with downloading video
  • 55 per cent of those that buy digital content are happy and intend to stick with this format
  • Over 1 in 3 say that film is an important part of their life
  • One in two Blu-ray buyers highly value receiving Blu-ray as a gift
  • Consumers feel comfortable with DVDs, which cements their loyalty to this format
  • 28 per cent wish there was a way of watching a TV show or film any time, any place on any device
  • Owners of 4K TV, Apple TV, Xbox One/PS4 (men aged 25-34) are the most knowledgeable and engaged with film


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