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.”

DEG Europe Changes Name to DEG International

DEG Europe, The Digital Entertainment Group’s European arm, has changed its name to DEG International, reflecting digital media’s worldwide impact.

The DEGI’s studio members include Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Technicolor, Dolby and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. Google recently joined as the organization’s first transactional retail member.

“As the home entertainment category evolves to respond to and reflect an ever-advancing degree of consumer choice, the DEGI is increasingly providing related support to local trade organizations as well as bridging perceived gaps in territories where trade associations are absent,” Nicola Pearcey, president U.K. & EMEA Strategy and Ops at Lionsgate and DEGI co-chair, said in a statement.

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Liz Bales, CEO of DEGI and British Association of Screen Entertainment, said DEGI’s role in a changing market can’t be understated.

“In the last 12 months, the DEGE has helped to drive the development of digital growth initiatives in a range of territories, with the U.S., Nordics, Australia and Asia all building on the delivery and learnings gained through the U.K. activation of ambitious promotions like ‘Mega Movie Week’,” Bales said.

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She said partnership with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group sister organization in the United States underscores an ability to effectively share experience in a compliance-appropriate manner – at a time when the video category is facing the practical effects of the diversification of consumer choice, and when some local markets lack the support of a trade association.

“The DEGI can act as a vital bridge in an increasingly global market,” Bales said.

Amy Jo Smith, CEO of DEG, said the U.S. market is the starting point for much of the change percolating into global markets, such as Disney+.

“One of our key priorities is to help members identify opportunity in that change and so our recently formed D2C Alliance and its International Expansion Committee will both lend support to and benefit from the global stance being taken by the DEGI,” Smith said. “We look forward to working with DEGI to help drive actionable market insights and industry best practices.”

 

BASE: Packaged Media Helps Up 2019 U.K. Home Entertainment Retail Market 9.5%

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “the reports of [the death of packaged media] are greatly exaggerated” — in the United Kingdom anyway.

Sales of DVD, Blu-ray Disc, 4K UHD Blu-ray and electronic sellthrough movies and TV shows in the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market generated more than £891 million ($1.2 billion) in 2019, according to year-end data compiled by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and culled from statistics originating within the Official Charts Co. and Futuresource Consulting.

About 54% of the 2019 transactional revenue came from packaged media, underlining that where content ownership is concerned, the disc is still the preferred choice for many consumers. In fact, 42% of consumers who made a physical transaction within the past 12 months did so to add to a collection, 43% bought to give as a gift, and 46% bought so they could re-watch on multiple occasions.

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The top-selling disc in 2019 was Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Bohemian Rhapsody, with the Oscar winner selling more than 1.7 million units across physical and digital formats. The success of the Freddie Mercury biopic came on the heels of Fox’s 2018 chart topper, The Greatest Showman, which itself continued to perform strongly in 2019, selling an additional 468,000 copies across all formats (giving it total sales of more than 3.1 million copies). Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s A Star Is Born followed up with 702,000 copies sold.

“Consumer appetite for paid-for digital video continued its impressive momentum in 2019,” David Sidebottom, principal analyst of entertainment at Futuresource Consulting, said in a statement. “Both EST and [transactional VOD] grew once again, albeit at a lower rate than previously after an incredibly strong 2018 performance. SVOD goes from strength to strength, as the new wave of SVOD service heralds the next era of digital video, as we enter 2020.”

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Indeed, subscription streaming video — driven by Netflix and Amazon Prime Video — helped grow overall home entertainment revenue 9.5% to £2.6 billion ($3.4 billion) from £2.37 billion ($3.1 billion) in 2018. SVOD accounted for nearly 66% of total revenue.

The picture is far from black and white, however, with nearly 40% of SVOD subscribers also transacting on physical or digital formats, as well as the 7.2 million consumers without over-the-top video subscriptions.

BASE said a proliferation of consumption models, including physical media and digital consumption at home and on the move, means that access to home entertainment content is more pervasive than ever before.

With SVOD now an entrenched layer of the home entertainment industry, it not only provides a diversity of choice for consumers, but also serves as a launchpad for high-quality original content that then goes on to reach an even wider audience via transactional formats.

“In a year that has seen consolidation between studios and independent distributors alike, the reality is that consumption habits are changing and are likely to continue to do so, with the debut of services like Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max all likely to further [drive] that change,” BASE CEO Liz Bales said.

The executive reiterated that content ownership — especially locally produced — remains of significant value to many consumers.

“Opportunity often comes from change, as evidenced by the U.K. production boom, and so we look to 2020 with excitement and a wealth of content and delivery well-equipped to meet evolving audience needs,” she said.

Blu-ray accounted for 27% of the disc market share, up from 24.3% in 2018. BASE contends the enduring appeal of disc is underscored by consumers’ investment in higher-end hardware and utilizing the Blu-ray and 4K UHD capabilities of games consoles.

The trade group said the average selling price across the Blu-ray format increased 4.7% to £14.88. Within the Blu-ray format, 4K UHD now represents 16.3% of the Blu-ray market, and a total of 4.3% of the overall disc market. There are more than 450 4K UHD Blu-ray titles available.

At the same time, EST grew 4.5% in sales volume and 3.5% retail value suggests that the digital revolution that has taken place in recent years is increasingly permeating the choices consumers are making for owned media too, with increasing numbers of consumers opting to grow their digital collections as well.

Among the Top 10 titles of 2019, digital purchase accounted for 33% of copies sold, with Bohemian Rhapsody and Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame selling in excess of half a million combined digital copies. All of the EST Top 10, including Toy Story 4 and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Venom sold in excess of 175,000 units each.

Among studios, Disney led with 18.6% market share across all formats, and driven by Toy Story 4 (827,000 copies), Mary Poppins Returns (751,000 copies), Ralph Breaks the Internet (360,000 copies), Aladdin (637,000 copies), The Lion King (679,000 copies) and Dumbo (392,000 copies).

Avengers: Endgame sold more than 1.33 million copies to land at second place on the combined chart; Captain Marvel (638,000 copies), and catalog title Avengers: Infinity War (351,000 copies) also featured in the best-selling titles of the year.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment continued its reign as the largest disc distributor based on volume driven by its studio slate, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks and Entertainment One.

Rocketman came out on top as Paramount’s best-selling disc title in 2019; Danny Boyle’s Beatles-inspired Yesterday performed well; and even outside of its new release window, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again became Universal’s fourth-best-selling title in 2019. Returning franchises, including How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, Johnny English Strikes Again and The Secret Life of Pets 2 saw strong sales, while spinoffs and remakes, including Bumblebee and The Grinch, also boosted the studio’s market share.

Other top-selling titles included Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner), which sold more than 662,000 copies including boxed sets, while Venom (Sony) ended the year in eighth place on the combined chart with sales of 653,000.

In the TV content, Game of Thrones: The Complete Eighth Season (Warner) sold more than 192,000 copies in the final four weeks of the year, topping the TV title chart and landing in the top 10 chart for consumer spend on disc, and also helping the “Thrones” catalog secure the title of best-selling TV franchise of 2019.

“Chernobyl” (Acorn Video by RLJ Entertainment) saw sales of 116,000 units, making it the second-highest-selling TV title of the year. BBC Studios continued to see franchise success with “Peaky Blinders” as well as both the new and classic series of “Doctor Who,” the latter of which ranked as the second-highest-selling TV franchise of the year.

U.K. consumer fascination with the Royal Family continued by another year of strong sales for seasons one and two of “The Crown” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) at number four on the TV chart, as well as “The Crown” franchise placing at number four in the TV franchise chart based on volume.

This continued success of TV content launched and accessible via streaming and catch-up services signposts the considerable consumer appetite to own SVOD-driven series on physical formats, also demonstrated by the success of Good Omens (BBC Studios) which landed at number 11 on the TV chart.

Despite the successes of standout titles, the final six months of 2019 saw a significantly reduced release slate, mirroring the smaller theatrical releases seen at the start of the year. BASE expects the 2020 slate to help redress the imbalance from 2019.

A raft of family films, including Frozen 2 (Disney), Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal), Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Sony) and The Secret Garden (StudioCanal distributed by Elevation Sales) are set to entertain. The U.K.’s unwavering appetite for musical drama will be sated by Lionsgate’s Military Wives and Universal’s Cats; superhero spinoffs and sequels are also aplenty, starting the year with Joker (Warner), followed by Black Widow (Disney), Venom 2 (Sony) and Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner); Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and James Bond actioner No Time to Die (Universal).

“We know that audiences find enormous value in our content and the first half of 2020, packed with diverse new IP as well as must-see franchise titles, should serve as the perfect reminder that in a market of consumers hungry for content, there’s plenty of room for those able to adapt,” said Kevin Dersley, co-vice chair of BASE and managing director of Elevation Sales.

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:

DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR

Universal Pictures UK

TITLE OF THE YEAR

The Greatest Showman – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

PHYSICAL RETAILER OF THE YEAR 

WINNER

ASDA

HIGHLY COMMENDED

HMV

Sainsbury’s

ONLINE PHYSICAL RETAILER OF THE YEAR

WINNER

Amazon

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Zavvi

Zoom

DIGITAL RETAILER OF THE YEAR

WINNER

Sky Store

HIGHLY COMMENDED

iTunes

Prime Video

DIGITAL RETAILER INNOVATION OF THE YEAR

WINNER

YouTube Upsell Panel

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Amazon Prime Deals

Sky Store

The Walt Disney Co. and eBay Campaign

PHYSICAL RETAILER INNOVATION OF THE YEAR

JOINT WINNERS

Tesco & Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group – Drafting Bay

HIGHLY COMMENDED

HMV – The Premium Collection

HMV & Universal Pictures UK – VHS Collection

Sainsbury’s – Avengers: Infinity War DVD Launch

IN-STORE THEATRE INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

WINNER

Universal Pictures UK – HMV Hologram Trial

HIGHLY COMMENDED

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

COMMENDED

Peter Rabbit – Tesco

 

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR SPECIAL INTEREST

WINNER

Spitfire – Altitude Film Entertainment

HIGHLY COMMENDED

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

COMMENDED

My Generation – Lionsgate UK

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR TV

WINNER

The Crown: Season 2 – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

HIGHLY COMMENDED

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

COMMENDED

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

PR/PUBLICITY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

WINNER

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

HIGHLY COMMENDED

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

COMMENDED

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

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR CATALOGUE: SINGLE PRODUCT

WINNER

The Dam Busters Collector’s Edition – StudioCanal

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Disney Classics Complete Collection – The Walt Disney Company

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR CATALOGUE: MULTIPLE PRODUCT 

WINNER

HMV Exclusive VHS Range – Universal Pictures UK

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Dreamworks: The Collection – Universal Pictures UK

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR CATALOGUE: DIGITAL PRODUCT

WINNER

Movies to Go – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

CREATIVE MARKETING INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR: SINGLE PRODUCT

WINNER

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Universal Pictures UK

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Dan & Phil – Interactive Introverts – BBC Studios

Deadpool 2 YouTube Sequencing – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

CREATIVE MARKETING INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR: MULTIPLE PRODUCT

WINNER

Deadpool Photobomb Sleeves – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Celebrating Mickey – The Walt Disney Company

HMV Hologram Trial – Universal Pictures UK

SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR

WINNER

Multi-Packaging Solutions (nominated by Universal Pictures UK)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

ASG Spark (nominated by The Walt Disney Company)

Obviously Creative (nominated by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR FILM – NON-THEATRICAL 

WINNER

Rex – Lionsgate UK

HIGHLY COMMENDED

KSI: Can’t Lose – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Batman Ninja – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR FILM – UP TO £1M BOX OFFICE

WINNER

Mandy – Universal Pictures UK

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Journey’s End – Lionsgate UK

COMMENDED

Hurricane – Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR FILM – £1M-£4.99M BOX OFFICE 

WINNER

Wonder – Lionsgate UK

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Loving Vincent – Altitude Film Entertainment

COMMENDED

The Predator – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR FILM – £5M-£14.99M BOX OFFICE 

WINNER

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

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Early Man – StudioCanal

COMMENDED

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – StudioCanal

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR FILM – £15M-£24.99M BOX OFFICE 

WINNER

Solo: A Star Wars Story – The Walt Disney Company

HIGHLY COMMENDED

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

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR FOR FILM – OVER £25M BOX OFFICE 

WINNER

Peter Rabbit – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Universal Pictures UK

COMMENDED

Deadpool 2 – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

OUTSTANDING INNOVATION OF THE YEAR 

WINNER

Ocean Rescue – Sky Store

HIGHLY COMMENDED

HMV Hologram Trial – Universal Pictures UK

COMMENDED

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.

 

 

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.”

 

British Home Entertainment Eyes Bullish Half-Year Sales

The British Association for Screen Entertainment said more than 38 million copies of movies and TV shows sold in the first six months of 2018, including 21% and 5% increases, respectively, in digital and disc sales of the Top 10 releases.

New releases represented 44% of sales in the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market, up 3% from the previous-year period.

Through the first-half of the year, digital retail represented 22.4% of revenue, up 6.9% from the previous-year period. Average consumer spending on digital transactions increased to £31.50 ($41.19).

Blu-ray Disc sales represented 12.9% of revenue – up 0.7% — with 4K UHD now representing 12% of the Blu-ray market. DVD generated 64.7% of sales, down from 72.3% last year.

“Whether you consider the performance of the top [sellers], the rise in digital transactions or the increased consumer spend on high-definition Blu-ray and 4K UHD titles, there is much to suggest that being able to access a film in your home … remains important to many,” Liz Bales, CEO at BASE, said in a statement.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s The Greatest Showman ended the period as the top-selling title, with 1.4 million units sold. The movie is also Britain’s all-time fastest-selling digital release, with more than 500,000 units sold since May.

Robert Price, managing director at Fox Home Entertainment in the U.K., said there was much to be positive about the home entertainment sector thus far in 2018, especially in the context of a challenging trading environment and unsteady consumer confidence.

“As an industry we must ensure our relevance to audiences sustains,” Price said. “We need to capitalize on successes where we see them and be bold and collaborative in approaching challenges and meeting the needs of a customer base still clearly very much in love with ownership and collection.”

Other top-selling digital releases included Justice League (Warner Home Entertainment) with more than 170,000 digital copies sold; Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Fifty Shades Freed (120,000 units), and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Blade Runner 2049 from (112,000 digital copies).

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s Star Wars VII – The Last Jedi sold more than 1.03 million copies across all formats, and StudioCanal’s marmalade-eating bear found a home with more than 835,000 families with Paddington 2 (released by Warner in the United States)

Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sold more than 600,000 units since its release in April. Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther sold 513,000 units.