Marking a third consecutive year of growth, U.K. consumer spend on video increased by 7.5 percent in 2017, bringing the total value of the category to £2.69 billion ($3.64 billion), according to new figures from the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE).
Ownership continues to be a key driver for the video category’s ongoing success, with 38 percent of the segment’s value coming from people buying content—either digitally or on physical formats—and 62 percent of people are now choosing to rent or stream their film and TV content. Within these figures, 51 percent of transactional spend is still attributed to physical disc sales across DVD, Blu-ray and the more recent 4K UHD format.
Digital video services maintained strong growth last year, up 22 percent from 2016 with the overall audiovisual industry growing 4.4 percent across the year to a whopping £10.97 billion ($14.85 billion).
Game of Thrones: Complete Seventh Season, along with the Complete Season 1-7 box set, sold more than 250,000 units and delivered more than £7.7 million ($10.4 million). Other top performers in the TV arena were The Crown season one and Peaky Blinders.
Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and The Beast topped the 2017 Official Video Chart, selling more than 1.55 million copies across physical and digital retail (including sales of the box set containing both the live-action and animated versions) to become the best-selling video title of the year. Looking at format, 74 percent chose to watch the family-entertainment move on DVD, while 13 percent chose Blu-ray and 13 percent opted to download and keep a digital version.
Liz Bales, the chief executive at BASE, said: “’Screen entertainment’ means so much more than it ever has done thanks to the wealth of choice consumers now have not only in how they watch content but also how they purchase it. In the context of this deepening choice, the extremely positive figures from 2017 showcase an array of good news stories.
“Audiences are clearly embracing digital options and the freedoms they afford. At the same time, the strength of physical disc sales figures should not be underestimated—across the board there is a huge desire for event status titles, franchise collection and family-friendly entertainment. Alongside distribution, retail innovation, whether a focus on physical space or digital retail models, has a part to play; as consumers embrace the choice on offer, so the various component parts of the screen entertainment category must rise to the challenge of servicing and reflecting that choice.”
Jonathan Broughton, principle analyst for home entertainment at IHS Markit, said: “2017 saw another year of strong performance from the U.K. home entertainment sector with growth rates continuing to climb; this year reaching 7.5 percent. Despite another year of decline in physical transactions, disc remains the second largest market segment; at roughly 70 percent of the value of subscription. Importantly, the digital transactional side of the market experienced another year of double-digit growth with ownership making up the lion’s share.
“2018 will see higher resolution initiatives helping to push transitional average sale prices to new highs, especially in the increasingly competitive digital space, while in the subscription window increasing monthly fees are indicative of a growing, popular and healthy business model. A strong release slate, which includes: Blade Runner 2049, Paddington 2, Justice League and Star Wars: Episode VIII—The Last Jedi should ensure that 2018 continues to see consumer spending on home entertainment.”