British Up Digital Movie Transactions 87% During Pandemic Lockdown

New data from the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and compiled by The Official Charts Company shows that consumer spending on digital movie purchases grew by more than 87% during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown period through June 30 to £113 million ($148 million). The United Kingdom is the second-largest home video market in the world.

Examining the wider transactional VOD market, data from Kantar suggests 1.8 million new customers either bought or rented digital content during lockdown, taking the number of consumers transacting digitally in that period to a record high of 5.5 million.

Transactional Successes

In the 12 week period from March 28 when the British government introduced its “stay home” policy, digital purchases accounted for 51% of the market as consumers engaged with the depth of range of titles available through digital home viewing options, with 49% attributed to sales of physical media (DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray). While growth in digital ownership was already evident, with its share at 29% in the same period in 2019 and at 37% in the 12 weeks prior to lockdown, the data suggests transactional VOD made huge gains at a time when many of consumers were forced to stay home.

Falling disc sales prior to the pandemic translated to an overall decline in the transactional video market, but the performance of digital transactional in lockdown has reversed that trend, with whole video market growth of 6.9% in value terms delivering a significant 21 point swing. During the lockdown period, disc proved to be remarkably resilient even in the context of many bricks and mortar retailers either being forced to close or to pivot to focus on essential provisions. Even with those challenges, with premium formats like Blu-ray and 4K UHD continuing to appeal and an increased engagement from consumers with TV box sets on disc, the disc market maintained a predominantly flat value position year-on-year.

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“With nearly 2 million new customers buying or renting entertainment content from a digital store during the lockdown period and contributing to the wider transactional video market returning to growth, the digital transactional market has been a beneficiary of the fact that the government’s Stay Home policy provided the right environment for it to flourish,” BASE CEO Liz Bales said in a statement.

Performance across the market can to some extent be attributed to a strong release slate, with a pipeline of theatrical titles becoming available early for purchase on digital platforms. During the lockdown period titles such as Jumanji: The Next Level, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, 1917, Bloodshot and Frozen II were joined on digital platforms by family-friendly releases such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Onward, as well as Knives Out and Jojo Rabbit, with average volume sales for digital purchase rising from more than 350,000 units per week in the 12 weeks from the start of 2020 to more than 565,000 units a week in the 12 weeks from March 28.

While the average selling price for a digital copy has risen year-on-year by 4.4% to £8.51 ($11.51), the fact that the ASP has fallen marginally against its pre-lockdown position suggests that consumers are also engaging with the value proposition offered by the breadth and depth of catalog content available through digital retailers alongside the pick of titles fresh from the cinema.

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The diverse range of older titles that digital customers have sought out during the pandemic includes classics such as Forrest Gump, Top Gun, Grease, Apocalypse Now and titles from the “Harry Potter” franchise, with titles released pre-2010 representing 38% of all digital sales during lockdown.

“Across both digital purchase and rental, numbers have boomed during the lockdown period, with new and existing customers contributing to some 7.9 million transactions, up more than 22% on the same period last year and more than the same period in 2018, which supports the story of the transactional video category returning to growth,” said Craig Armer, strategic insight director at Kantar.

Armer said the number of transactional VOD customers doubled, accounting for more than 28% of the transactional VOD market in lockdown versus around 13% for the same time last year.

Families Engage with Premium VOD

One area of innovation driven by lockdown was the debut of  premium VOD offerings, with titles earmarked for theatrical release appearing on VOD services early. Titles released in this model included Trolls World Tour, The Invisible Man, Emma, The Hunt and Military Wives, with PVOD offerings accounting for 6.2% of all digital rentals over the lockdown period according to data from Kantar. Due to the higher price point of these premium offerings, that figure translates to a 19% share of rental spend in the period, with Kantar estimating that more than half a million customers experimented with the new-release format.

In keeping with the PVOD success of Trolls World Tour, families have the largest share of spend and are accessing content through their TVs rather than through other devices, endorsing the popularity of the movie night in that continues to be a key occasion for transaction and, in lockdown, a welcome break from the situation the nation was dealing with.

“The fact that more than half of consumers anticipate they will maintain habits formed during lockdown, such as engaging more broadly with digital delivery, underlines the need for the video category to optimize around the opportunity delivered by the growth it has seen,” Bales said.  “Historically, home entertainment has proved robust in times of economic crisis and the addition of a meaningful number of new customers to digital transactional, alongside the resilience of the disc market, means the video category at large has plenty to build upon even as consumer confidence and discretionary spend potentially become challenged as we look to the future.”

Universal’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Headlines U.K.’s ‘FindAnyFilm’ Retail Video

With the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market — and second-largest subscriber base for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video — the United Kingdom represents both opportunity and challenge for U.S. studios.

With the U.K. slowly embracing a return to normal following the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, the British Association for Screen Entertainment — with a mandate to “champion growth across the home entertainment market” — has released its quarterly “” video showcasing new and pending movie/TV show releases available in retail channels.

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The website is similar to Movies Anywhere in the U.S., an agnostic platform aimed at jumpstarting digital home entertainment retail, except that it also aggressively pushes packaged media, including Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K UHD Blu-ray, and cinema.

“It’s a trailer we make every quarter, detailing new [disc] titles coming to market in the U.K.,” BASE’s Andy Neilson said in an email.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has seized the moment, aggressively marketing erstwhile theatrical releases on FindAnyFilm. Veteran studio boss Eddie Cunningham cut his teeth as chairman of U.K. operations and regional managing director for Australia, New Zealand and the Nordic countries.

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Headlining the video is Universal Pictures’ Trolls World Tour, the scuttled theatrical release that exploded in popularity (and revenue) in the U.S. due to early release on premium video-on-demand. The sequel streets in the U.K. on July 27. The title generated more than $100 million in three weeks release, prompting Universal to declare it would continue PVOD distribution going forward.

Other promotional titles include Universal’s The High Note, which streets in the U.S. on packaged media Aug. 11, Military Wives, which hits retail channels on Aug. 18, The King of Staten Island (Aug. 25), and Dark Waters, which was released in March. Other featured title: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Fantasy Island, which hit the street in the U.S. on May 12.

Women in Home Entertainment 2019: A Q&A With BASE CEO Liz Bales

The British Association for Screen Entertainment’s mission statement seeks to champion the growth of screen entertainment across a £2.34 billion U.K. disc and digital video market, while maintaining a business environment with few regulatory burdens.

U.S. studio members include Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Lionsgate U.K., Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures International Entertainment, The Walt Disney Co., and Warner Home Entertainment.

As CEO of BASE and Industry Trust for IP Awareness, Liz Bales has headed the trade group since 2014. A commercial lawyer by trade in the acquisition, exploitation and protection of intellectual property, Bales also leads The Digital Entertainment Group Europe.

Bales is recognized for leadership and creation of partnerships and executing targeted initiatives to grow audience engagement, deliver industrywide behavior change and incubate innovation in established trading environments.

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With a successful track record supporting diverse stakeholders on complex challenges with a focus on measurable results and sustainable solutions as well as delivering efficiencies, Media Play News asked Bales about ongoing cyclical change across the world’s No. 2 home video market.

MPN: At the end of 2018, you cited ongoing “high street retail” challenges in packaged media while attempting to accommodate a “broad variety” of home entertainment content and format options. How have those challenges been met through the first half of 2019?

Bales: The home entertainment category has been effectively managing change for over a decade, and in 2019 we are meeting ongoing challenges head on. BASE is driving physical retail innovation in collaboration with a leading U.K. grocer and alongside industry experts, leading ground-breaking trials with exceptional indicative results at an early stage. Focusing on digital formats, the cross-platform ‘Mega Movie Week’ campaign resulted in the U.K.’s largest week of sales for digital ownership on record, topping 1 millionm units with the highest reported incredibly strong new user activation from a host of the participating platforms.

MPN: The U.S. home entertainment market is now 60% subscription streaming video, led by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Yet, consumption of packaged media continues (albeit slowly) while increasingly dwarfed by digital. The trend appears similar in the United Kingdom. How are BASE members adjusting their marketing approaches?

Bales: The rapid evolution of technology is a dominant force, and home entertainment is just one of a plethora of categories taking advantage of the benefits. Ultimately this evolution is about the consumer, whose love of and engagement with content in all forms is enduring and still showing huge growth; the home entertainment category value is up 10% in the last year. An established U.K. production base sees the welcome addition of bold new players, which is a huge positive for both our creative industry and U.K. audiences and while format fragmentation is obviously not without its challenges, the industry is proactive in its response, as witnessed by the remodeling being seen across the distribution landscape.

MPN: How does BASE convince consumers to purchase rather than subscribe to media? Can both distribution models co-exist?

Bales: BASE runs a variety of initiatives that focus on informing the consumer on the benefits of the various formats including ownership, rental and subscription. There is a broad range of different needs and spaces in which consumers consume entertainment content, and clear areas where transactional purchase has natural advantages over subscription and vice versa. As long as consumers are made aware of the myriad benefits of ownership across all formats, then both distribution models can continue to co-exist and meet the differing needs of a range of audience types.

MPN: With Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, complete ownership of Hulu and pending launch of a branded subscription streaming service — the latter two likely earmarked for the U.K. — how does traditional home entertainment retail compete?

Bales: Traditional home entertainment retail has already been competing with subscription streaming services for over a decade and Disney is one of a number of entities that will launch direct-to-consumer services in the coming months and years. The response from traditional home entertainment is of course insight led; gaining an understanding of audience behavioral trends and consequent engagement is a high priority. We know that consumers view content from multiple formats, and fans of film and TV have a range of choices; to visit the cinema, buy the latest content digitally or on disc as well as streaming exclusive content from subscription services.

Customers love choice and across the category content owners provide just that. With all of the current and future developments in the home entertainment business, it is imperative that we consider any possible impact on copyright infringement; the category as a whole must work together to ensure that the customer experience comes first, and ensure clarity and simplicity when it comes to accessing content easily and legally even as habits evolve.

The consumer will ultimately vote with their wallet and define the success of new services, but all evidence points to transaction and ownership continuing to be a desired option for many.

MPN: With studios and media companies increasingly focusing on subscription and ad-supported VOD, it would appear BASE has to wear multiple hats to satisfy industry members. Is that true? If so, how has that changed the internal focus at BASE?

Bales: Navigating change has been a constant for many years, the pace of which only escalates. Members have always looked to the organization for a comprehensive category level understanding of current market performance, but now increasingly look to us for a view on future challenges and opportunities.

Ultimately, home entertainment is one part of an expansive and interconnected value chain, and to genuinely add value for members our expertise in home entertainment has to be complemented with a thorough knowledge of surrounding sectors, not only subscription and ad–supported VOD, but extending to theatrical distribution and broadcast.

This is quite a task, but it is one that makes for dynamic and exciting roles within the team and is a challenge the organization has risen to with a passion.

Click here for the 2019 list of Women in Home Entertainment

BASE: Packaged Media Still Dominates Sluggish Half-Year U.K. Home Video Sales

Despite competition from subscription streaming video services, consumers in the United Kingdom continue to covet ownership of physical and digital home entertainment.

Half-year sales figures from the British Association for Screen Entertainment — citing Official Charts Co. data — found consumers in the world’s No. 2 home video market purchased more than 32 million DVD, Blu-ray, 4K UHD and EST (electronic sellthrough) combined units for a retail value of £294.5 million ($366.5 million).

Despite a tough retail environment, physical disc formats remain the first choice for consumers, with a total of 22.3 million physical copies sold at a value of £215.8 million ($268.7 million), with DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD formats representing 65% of sales.

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At title level, disc remains the consumer’s go-to for ownership, and is the majority-selling format for 80% out of the top 100 titles.

Approaching 1 million physical copies sold, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Bohemian Rhapsody leads the competition with more than 913,400 physical copies sold.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group’s A Star is Born follows, selling 531,900 copies on disc, as U.K. consumers continue their appetite for musicals, with musicals and music-led titles making up half of the Top 10 best-selling disc titles.

Long-standing franchises also continue to see physical success, with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald selling more than 542,000 copies.

That said, SVOD continues to shrink the retail market.

The combined volume of disc and digital sales declined 16%, with customer spend down 17.4% against a backdrop of evolving consumption habits.

Indeed, June saw the lowest retail sales on record as consumer confidence continues to be challenged.

“Notwithstanding an extremely challenging retail landscape across many categories as we reach the halfway point in 2019, consumers remain wedded to ownership in many cases, with the substantial growth of digital transaction and the enduring strength of physical disc sales testament to the integral part that collection and curation plays in all of our leisure time,” Liz Bales, CEO at BASE, said in a statement.

“The standout success of titles like Bohemian Rhapsody shows that even in the context of a wealth of options vying for that leisure time, high quality content continues to excite and inspire home audiences to bring their favorite titles home on both digital and physical formats. Consumers and our colleagues across the category have much to look forward to with an extensive slate of stellar content set to release in the next half of the year.”

Home Entertainment Studios Score Big at 2019 BASE Awards

Try imagining a movie/TV industry awards event without a Netflix nominee/winner and you would get the 39th annual BASE Awards held this week in London.

The British Association for Screen Entertainment’s annual gala saw 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s The Greatest Showman winning “title of the year,” and Universal Pictures U.K. earning “distributor of the year” with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, among other titles.

The studios split “creative marketing initiatives of the year” with Universal earning honors for Mamma Mia!, and Fox for its “Deadpool” photobomb sleeves campaign.

In all, the studios won a combined nine industry awards.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment won two awards, including “campaign of the year” for films topping £25 million at the box office with Peter Rabbit, and “The Crown: Season 2,” which it produced for Netflix in the United States.

Lionsgate U.K. earned two awards, including “PR/Publicity initiative of the year” for Wonder and “campaign of the year for film — non-theatrical” with Rex.

In a stellar display of collaboration between distribution and retail, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and retailer Tesco were both awarded “physical retailer innovation of the year” for their drafting bay activity.

Comcast’s Sky Store won two awards, including “outstanding innovation of the year” for their Ocean Rescue initiative.

Asda, Amazon and YouTube were honored in the retailer categories and winners also included Altitude Film Entertainment, StudioCanal, The Walt Disney Co., and Multi-Packaging Solutions, which won “supplier of the year” honors.

BASE chairman Richard Price (who is managing director at Fox Home Entertainment U.K.) commended the industry for its commitment to home video in a “transformative and challenging time.”

Liz Bales, CEO of BASE, hailed the awards as “a true celebration of our vibrant category and a chance to reflect on a year of pioneering collaboration and innovation.”

“Having enormously impressed the judges with bold and progressive activities, all of the entrants have proven once again that the home entertainment category has both the talent and determination to succeed time and again,” Bales said in a statement.


The full list of BASE Awards winners:


Universal Pictures UK


The Greatest Showman – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment















Sky Store



Prime Video



YouTube Upsell Panel


Amazon Prime Deals

Sky Store

The Walt Disney Co. and eBay Campaign



Tesco & Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group – Drafting Bay


HMV – The Premium Collection

HMV & Universal Pictures UK – VHS Collection

Sainsbury’s – Avengers: Infinity War DVD Launch



Universal Pictures UK – HMV Hologram Trial


Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Morrison’s (nominated by Universal Pictures UK)


Peter Rabbit – Tesco




Spitfire – Altitude Film Entertainment


Kevin Bridges – The Brand New Tour – Live & The Complete Collection – Universal Pictures UK


My Generation – Lionsgate UK



The Crown: Season 2 – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Strictly Come Dancing: Bruno’s Bellissimo Blackpool – BBC Studios


Star Trek Discovery: Season 1 – Universal Pictures UK (on behalf of Paramount Pictures UK)



Wonder #Dayofkindness – Premier PR (nominated by Lionsgate UK)


Deadpool 2 Blockbuster Video – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (Agency: Premier PR)


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Influencer Challenge – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Agency: Organic)



The Dam Busters Collector’s Edition – StudioCanal


Disney Classics Complete Collection – The Walt Disney Company



HMV Exclusive VHS Range – Universal Pictures UK


Dreamworks: The Collection – Universal Pictures UK



Movies to Go – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment



Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Universal Pictures UK


Dan & Phil – Interactive Introverts – BBC Studios

Deadpool 2 YouTube Sequencing – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment



Deadpool Photobomb Sleeves – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Celebrating Mickey – The Walt Disney Company

HMV Hologram Trial – Universal Pictures UK



Multi-Packaging Solutions (nominated by Universal Pictures UK)


ASG Spark (nominated by The Walt Disney Company)

Obviously Creative (nominated by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)



Rex – Lionsgate UK


KSI: Can’t Lose – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Batman Ninja – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group



Mandy – Universal Pictures UK


Journey’s End – Lionsgate UK


Hurricane – Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment



Wonder – Lionsgate UK


Loving Vincent – Altitude Film Entertainment


The Predator – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment



The Quiet Place – Universal Pictures UK (on behalf of Paramount Pictures UK)


Early Man – StudioCanal


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – StudioCanal



Solo: A Star Wars Story – The Walt Disney Company


Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Universal Pictures UK (on behalf of Paramount Pictures UK)



Peter Rabbit – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Universal Pictures UK


Deadpool 2 – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment



Ocean Rescue – Sky Store


HMV Hologram Trial – Universal Pictures UK


Always on Drafting – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group

MyFilmClub – Under the Influence of… Ltd.

Radio Times/Immediate Media Partnership

Studios, Digital Platforms Seek ‘Mega’ Movie Campaign to Jumpstart Retail Sales in the U.K.

Hollywood and British studios have partnered for a retail marketing campaign in the United Kingdom intended to jumpstart digital sales of movies and TV shows in the over-the-top video era.

Dubbed “Mega Movie Week,” the campaign, which initially ran through Jan. 28, seeks to drive consumer awareness of the benefits of digital ownership through special deals and promotions.

Participating studios include BBC Studios, Entertainment One, HBO, Lionsgate, NBC Universal, Paramount Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, StudioCanal, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment U.K. and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Retail partners, which include Comcast’s Sky Store, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Rakuten TV, BT TV store, PlayStation Store, Microsoft and Chili, say the yearlong initiative hopes to engage new video consumers.

“The video category continues to offer audiences a huge degree of flexibility when it comes to ownership and consumption of physical and digital home entertainment products and we know that millions of us enjoy having access to a library of titles we love,” Liz Bales, CEO of BASE, said in a statement.

The trade group said 63% of consumers in 2018 rented or streamed movies and TV shows, while 37% preferred ownership of content on disc or download.

Analysis to the effectiveness of the “Mega” campaign will be done by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and The Digital Entertainment Group Europe (DEGE).

“Mega Movie Week represents an unprecedented collective vision from across the category to embrace an opportunity to capitalize on the growth of digital transaction seen in 2018 by encouraging engagement,” said BASE chairman Robert Price, who is also managing director at Fox Home Entertainment U.K.



British Trade Group Lobbies for Packaged-Media Survival

On the heels of British entertainment retailer HMV’s second time into administration (a form of bankruptcy), trade group British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) has issued an impassioned plea for the survival of packaged media.

When the His Majesty’s Voice retail chain, operating more than 120 stores in the United Kingdom selling DVD, Blu-ray Disc and music CDs, filed for administration on Dec. 28 – the second such filing in six years – executives cited a 30% year-over-year decline in DVD sales for the move.

BASE, in a statement, said the percentage decline was misleading, and in fact, represented a single week on the British charts when comparing the 2017 retail release of Warner Home Video’s highly touted Dunkirk.

The trade group said year-over-year DVD sales actually dropped 17% and still represent nearly 60% of consumer spending on movies — especially on Top 10 theatrical releases.

“HMV is a key player in physical sales across TV, comedy and special interest genres, allowing consumers to browse the remarkable breadth and depth of titles showcased in-store,” said BASE.

“Standout titles consistently achieve great DVD sales results; in December, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again sold over 1 million DVDs in less than a month, the first title to do so in five years since Despicable Me 2 [both Universal Pictures Home Entertainment] in 2013.”

The group said retail still offers the best avenue for impulse purchases of movies and TV shows. Indeed, 20% of home video consumption in 2018 was done on impulse, contributing £70 million ($90 million) to the market. BASE said 30% impulse buys of packaged media occurred at HMV stores.

Analyst Kantar Worldpanel reported that in-store sales accounted for 60% of all spend over the year, and research conducted by Vista found that 81% of UK consumers continue to see the physical store as vital to the shopping experience.

“Impulse purchases add significant value to the physical market, and HMV, accounting for one in three impulse entertainment buys, plays a huge role,” Ian Foster, managing director, NBC Universal, said in a statement. “For this, and many other reasons, HMV’s place on the high street is vital for the category and we are very keen to see a positive outcome.”

BASE said HMV and brick-and-mortar retail have contributed to 4K UHD Blu-ray sales accounting for 13% of BD sales, with Blu-ray now representing 24.3% of the total physical disc market value.

The group said the potential customer base for 4K content continues to grow, with Futuresource Consulting projecting a UHD TV installed base of 8.5 million households and 2.2 million capable 4K Blu-ray players across the U.K. at the end of 2018.

Indeed, 41% of U.K. shoppers went to a store specifically to buy 4K Blu-ray titles, compared to 27% for Blu-ray titles in general.

“The growth of 4K UHD within the market has helped increase the average price paid for a Blu-ray up to £14.21, a year-on-year increase of the average Blu-ray selling price of 5.3%, attesting to the fact that consumers are willing to invest more in a high-quality home entertainment experience,” said BASE.

The group said that despite media reports suggesting younger consumers largely covet digital and streaming video services, the demo still purchases video content on physical formats. Citing Kantar Worldpanel data, 18.4% of 16-24-year-olds bought a disc in 2018, and 16-25-year-olds accounted for 11% of all disc consumption, which was equal to 2017.

BASE said that since news of HMV’s administration broke, there has been a “groundswell” of affection for packaged media on social media and op-ed pieces.

“Personal accounts of outstanding service, recommendations from knowledgeable staff members leading to new favorites in music and film, as well as accidental finds in the store’s extensive catalog highlight the true value of HMV, with experiences that cannot be replicated via online purchasing,” said the group.


BASE: 2018 U.K. Home Entertainment Revenue Grew 10%

The British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) Jan. 3 reported that the home entertainment market grew by 10% in 2018 from 2017, bringing the total value of the category to £2.34 billion ($2.9 billion).

The trade group said 63% of consumers rent or stream film and TV content, while 37% choose to buy and own content either on disc or download.

Among transactional retail, 59% of consumer spending is still attributed to physical content with DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray continuing to be a key drivers across the market.

The strength of new release movies, in particular, also drove performance in other areas, as evidenced by the performance of original soundtracks across the music category throughout 2018.

“The third consecutive year of growth in the video category underlines the fact that audiences remain engaged with a broad variety of home entertainment content and format options,” Liz Bales, CEO of BASE, said in a statement. “This serves as a testament to the innovation and energy that continue to drive the home entertainment category even as the high streetretail environment presents clear challenges in some areas.”

BASE said the growth of digital transactional surpassed all expectations in 2018, reaching a total market value of £400 million ($503 million), and electronic sellthrough (EST) up 36%.

The Greatest Showman (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) topped digital sales with more than 770,000 copies sold since the April release date. Other top-selling titles included titles Avengers: Infinity War (Disney), selling near 400,000 copies, with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) both selling in excess of 270,000 digital copies each.

Overall, The Greatest Showman sold more than 2.68 million units, more than double the sales of the nearest competitor, with 72% of sales coming from physical formats.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) ended the year in second place with 86% of (1.12 million unit sales) coming from disc.

The top-10 film franchises grew their market share 17% compared to 2017. Disney’s Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther sold more than 2.5 million units combined. Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sold more than 800,000 copies across physical and digital formats.

Paddington 2 (Studiocanal)and Peter Rabbit (Sony) ended 2018 ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in sales. More than 74% of consumers bought Paddington 2 on DVD, helping Britain’s favorite marmalade-munching bear to reach number three in the standalone DVD sales chart.

Peter Rabbitwas the top children’s animated title with sales of 900,000 units across all formats. Disney’s Incredibles 2 finished second after a late November release, ahead of Coco and 2017 hit Moana at fourth. In CGI animation, StudioCanal’s Early Man proved that Aardman Animation still delights, and that stop-motion photography is not too old-school among consumers.

Among TV shows on disc, Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group) sold more than 160,000 units to top the disc chart.

Both seasons of Netflix’s The Crown (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) finished among the top-five TV titles of the year, with season two selling more than 90,000 units and season one selling 81,000 units.

Universal Pictures ended the year as the No. 1 studio in U.K. retail with 18.4% market share in disc, and 20.1% when adding digital. BASE attributed Universal success to a diverse release slate, in addition to a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Animation’s  back catalog.

Key successes included Darkest Hour, royal drama Victoria and Abdul, and horror hit, A Quiet Place. Franchise properties also performed well for the studio, with much-anticipated sequels like Mamma Mia! Here We Go AgainJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Tom Cruise’s sixth outing in Mission: Impossible  Fallout (Paramount Pictures, distributed by Universal), and the final chapter for Mr. and Mrs. Grey in Fifty Shades Freed all performing strongly for the home entertainment studio.

Disney led the Blu-ray market with more than 24% volume share and 26% value share due to the performance of the studio’s continuing franchises. Disney also topped the 4K UHD chart, with half of the top 10 best-selling Ultra HD discs sold in 2018 belonging to either the Marvel or Star Wars franchises – with Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi taking first and second place respectively.

In packaged media, Blu-ray accounted for 24.3% of disc market valueunderscored by 5.3% increase in average unit selling price – attesting to the fact that consumers are willing to invest more in a high-quality home entertainment experience.

Within the Blu-ray market, 4K UHD keeps growing, with more than 330 titles currently available on the super high-definition format and 4K disc sales now representing 13% of total Blu-ray spend.

Top-selling 4K titles included Blade Runner 2049 (Sony), with 27% of Blu-ray value generated by 4K sales and Ready Player One (Warner) at 20.2%Other top sellers included Deadpool 2 (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment), Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and The Greatest Showman, coming in at number six in the UHD chart.

“Today’s customers enjoy a multitude of options when it comes to keeping themselves entertained and clearly continue to find a huge amount of relevance in the video category which, more flexibly than ever before, caters to every need; whether that is watching on the go, building a digital library or securing the absolute best viewing experience premium formats now guarantee,” said Bales. “We face into the New Year with a clear desire to build on successes but also to ensure that the degree of choice available remains one of the category’s great strengths.”


U.K. Home Entertainment Trade Groups Bow Weekly Video Chart Show

The Official Charts Company, the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and the Entertainment Retailers Association last month launched “The Official Film Charts Show,” a weekly online video presentation showcasing the most-popular movies to buy or rent on disc or digital in the United Kingdom – the world’s second-largest home entertainment market.

The show tabulates the top 10 best-selling selling movies on disc and download for the week and also includes trailers for upcoming releases.

The video is available on now includes movie downloads from Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Sky Store, Virgin Media Store, Rakuten TV, Talk Talk TV, as well as 4K UHD Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray and DVD disc sales.

“The Official Film Chart will be the definitive snapshot of the U.K.’s favorite movies on disc and download – for the first time, both film fans and the industry will be able to review the biggest selling titles every week across both physical and digital formats, which is a huge step for the industry,” Martin Talbot, CEO of The Official Charts said in a statement.

Through six months in 2018, U.K. consumers downloaded more than 15 million movies – exceeding 2017 – and helping grow the overall market to about 55 million video sales across all formats (download, 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD).

Liz Bales, CEO of Base, said the need for a consumer-based online video promotional vehicle for home entertainment was long overdue.

“In an ever-changing, but consistently dynamic home entertainment industry, it has been felt for some time that there should be a method of both celebrating and signposting audience engagement with owned content,” Bales said. “With significant growth in digital ownership, and ongoing engagement with the full suite of physical options – including 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD – it is clear that film in all its forms continues to be a must-own commodity.”

BASE Revamps Home Entertainment Awards

The British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE), the U.K. home entertainment trade group, Jan. 11 announced it is rejiggering its annual awards show to better reflect changing consumer and category trends.

Scheduled for June 7 in London, the 2018 BASE Awards will for the first time include a “creative marketing initiative” that prioritizes creativity over transactional success.

The gala features a renewed focus on the contributions made by retailers, including “physical retailer of the year,” “online physical retailer of the year,” “digital retailer of the year,” “digital retailer innovation of the year,” “physical retailer innovation of the year,” and “in-store theatre initiative of the year,” among other honors.

The “special interest award” has been expanded to incorporate entries from children’s, sport, fitness, music and comedy genres.

“The BASE Awards continue to go from strength to strength,” CEO Liz Bales said in a statement. “The event truly is a flagship moment in the industry calendar and one that places a well-deserved spotlight on the skills and innovation powering the industry.”

The U.K. home entertainment market – ranked behind Japan and the United States, according to IHS Markit – saw consumer spending across the video category rise 7.5% to £2.69 billion ($3.6 billion) in 2017.