Blu-ray rises as UK home video market grows 9.5 per cent

posted on Friday, 3rd January 2020 by Steve May

Blu-ray  home cinema  Streaming 

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The UK home entertainment sector grew by 9.5 per cent in 2019, bringing the total market value to £2.6 billion, according to a new report released by British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE).

The rise has been fuelled by the growing number of options enjoyed by consumers, be it physical media or digital consumption at home and on the move. Streaming services represent 65.9 per cent of market value. However 39.6 per cent of SVOD subscribers also buy physical or digital formats.

Data from the Official Charts Company and Futuresource Consulting, reveal that the transactional home entertainment market was worth more than £891 million in 2019. 54 per cent of that value is attributed to the purchase of DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD formats, confirming that the disc is currently still the preferred choice for many fans, collectors and gifters.

42 per cent of consumers who made a physical transaction within the past 12 months wanted to add to a collection, 43 per cent bought to give as a gift, and 46 per cent so they could re-watch on multiple occasions.

Blu-ray now accounts for 27 per cent of the disc market value, up from 24.3 per cent in 2018. This despite an actual increase in the average selling price for the format, up 4.7 per cent year-on-year to £14.88. 4K UHD sales have seen yet another year of growth, now representing 16.3 per cent of the Blu-ray market, and a total of 4.3 per cent of the overall disc market. There are now more than 450 titles available in UHD disc format.

On average across the top 10 titles of 2019, digital purchase now accounts for 33 per cent of copies sold, with two titles (Bohemian Rhapsody and Avengers: Endgame) selling in excess of half a million digital copies.

Bohemian Rhapsody was the best-selling title of 2019 with more than 1.70 million copies sold across physical and digital home entertainment formats. A Star Is Born sold 702,000 copies.

Star Is Born

The big winner in terms of market value was Disney, with 18.6 per cent of disc value market share. Sell through successes include Toy Story 4 (827,000 copies), Mary Poppins Returns (751,000 copies) and Ralph Breaks the Internet (360,000 copies). Disney’s classic remakes also fared well: Aladdin (637,000 copies), The Lion King (679,000 copies) and Dumbo (392,000 copies).

Marvel enjoyed similar superhero success, with Avengers: Endgame selling 1.33 million copies, Captain Marvel (638,000 copies), and Avengers: Infinity War (351,000 copies).

Sony Picture’s Venom ended the year in eighth place in the combined chart with sales of 653,000. Meanwhile Game of Thrones: Complete Eighth Season ended the year at 192,000 copies, and ensuring that #GoT was the best-selling TV franchise of 2019.

“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 D2C services like Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max all likely to further catalyse that change,” says Liz Bales, Chief Executive, BASE.

“At the same time, it remains clear that ownership – whether on the best possible physical formats like Blu-ray and 4K UHD or, increasingly, digital ownership with its own set of flexible benefits like watching wherever on the go and instant access – remains of significant value to many of us. Collection, curation and gifting are clearly continued gateways to the transactional video sector, but so too is the fact that planning a night with friends or family has an emotional resonance that many of us remain wedded to. Opportunity often comes from change, as evidenced by the UK production boom, and so we look to 2020 with excitement and a wealth of content and delivery well equipped to meet evolving audience needs.”

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and Ideal Home (amongst others).

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