2017 U.K. Video Spending Up 7.5%

Consumers in the United Kingdom spent £2.69 billion ($3.65 billion) on video content in 2017, up 7.5% from £2.5 billion ($3.39 billion) in 2016, according to the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE), which cited data from the Official Charts Company and IHS Markit.

Spurred by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and transactional VOD, 62% of consumers rented/streamed video, while 38% purchased content. Notably, 51% of consumers acquiring content chose packaged media, including DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray.

“Audiences are clearly embracing digital options and the freedoms they afford,” BASE CEO Liz Bales said in a statement. “At the same time, the strength of physical disc sales figures should not be underestimated.”

Bales said retail demand for “event-status” titles, franchise collections and family-friendly fare underscores the need for both physical and digital distribution.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson) was the top-selling title with 1.55 million units sold (74% DVD, 13% Blu-ray, 13% digital).

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney) was No. 2 with 1.38 million units sold (51% DVD, 36% Blu-ray, 13% digital).

Dean Pappadakis, category and commercial director, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, said success with the 2016 live-action remake of The Jungle Book underscored the studio’s belief in the Beauty and the Beast reboot. It was a strategy he said Disney followed by expanding the Star Wars brand with Rogue One.

“Audiences embraced both titles and their enduring love for the respective source materials became a strength for these superb productions that have collectively gone on to tell a heartening story in terms of continued audience engagement across the video category as a whole,” Pappadakis said in a statement.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment topped packaged media market share with 19.7% in sales volume. The studio’s Bridget Jones’s Baby was the only romantic comedy to exceed 1 million unit sales.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment topped Blu-ray market share with 18.5%, due in part to the retail success of Dunkirk (640,000 units) and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Dunkirk generated the biggest first-week 4K Blu-ray Disc sales with 16,000 units

Other top-selling titles included The Girl on the Train (Twentieth Century Fox, distributing on behalf of eOne)Wonder Woman (Warner), La La Land (Lionsgate, distributed by Elevation Sales) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).

Jonathan Broughton, principal analyst, home entertainment, IHS Markit, said disc sales continue to resonate despite ongoing declining consumer demand.

“Disc remains the second largest market segment — at roughly 70% the value of subscription [VOD],” Broughton said, excluding the double-digit increase in digital retail sales.

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