UK buy-to-own video market skyrockets during lockdown

UK consumer spend on digital film to buy and keep grew by more than 87% during the lockdown period to a year-to-date value of £113 million to the end of June, according to data from the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and compiled by The Official Charts Company (OCC).

Research outfit Kantar has meanwhile reported that 1.8 million new customers either bought or rented digital content during lockdown, taking the number of consumers transacting digitally in that period to 5.5 million.

According to the OCC data, digital purchases accounted for 51% of the buy and keep market during the 12 weeks following the start of the lockdown at the end of March, with the remained attributed to sales of physical media – DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.

Falling disc sales prior to the pandemic translated to an overall decline in the transactional video market, but the performance of digital transactional purchases during the COVID-19 lockdown meant that the overall video transactional market grew by 6.9% in value terms, with disc sales proving to be “remarkably resilient”. According to the data, Blu-ray and 4k UHD continued to perform well as did TV box sets on disc.

While OCC provides a view of owned digital and physical media, Kantar offers a more complete view of the digital market including video-on-demand and rental transactions.

The outfit counted 7.9 million transactions during lockdown, up more than 22% on the same period last year and more than the same period in 2018. VOD accounted for more than 28% of the transactional video market in lockdown versus around 13% for the same time last year.

The overall number of UK digital customers renting or purchasing is now at a record 5.5 million, according to Kantar.

Premiun VOD offerings accounting for 6.2% of all digital rentals over the lockdown period according to the data from Kantar. Due to the higher price point of these offerings, that 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, spearheaded by the launch of Trolls World Tour.

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