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Digital film sales surpass discs for the first time

PVoD content accounted for 6.2 per cent of all digital rentals over the lockdown period according to BASE

For the first time in the UK, volume sales of digital film content (51 per cent) exceeded that of disc (49 per cent) during lockdown according to figures from British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE).

That’s compared to 29 per cent for digital films sales in the same period in 2019 and at 37 per cent in the 12 weeks prior to lockdown.

Average volume sales for digital purchases rose 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 28th March.

Consumer spend on digital film to buy and keep grew by more than 87 per cent during lockdown to a year-to-date value of £113 million to the end of June.

BASE also found that premium video on demand (PVoD) content accounted for 6.2 per cent of all digital rentals over the lockdown period. Due to the higher price point of these premium offerings, that figure translates to a 19 per cent share of rental spend in the period, with estimates that more than half a million customers experimented with PVoD.

Liz Bales, Chief Executive at BASE, said: “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 optimise around the opportunity delivered by the growth it has seen. 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.”