DVD sales slide, digital downloads rise

DVD sales have seen a 5.7 per cent fall in revenue to just more than £1bn for the UK video entertainment sector in the first half of the year.

Spending on digital viewing via download and streaming services to portable devices rose 18 per cent year on year, according to figures from the British Video Association (BVA) – who said that there are now 44 legal services in the UK on which consumers can download or stream video content.

But they are yet to offset the slump in DVD and Blu-ray sales, which fell 8.1 per cent in the first half of the year. Physical discs accounted for 96.5 per cent of all sales in 2010.

“The first half has been a bit of rollercoaster, with wallets and purses squeezed, but despite that people still found more than £1 billion to spend on video entertainment, the vast majority on physical formats,” said the BVA director general, Lavinia Carey.

“Digital is growing and has huge potential with the growth of Internet-connected devices such as smartphones and tablets now an accepted norm for video viewing.”

The report described the fall in total sales to £1.012 billion as a “steady” performance in light of the tough economic environment.

The BVA also noted that the second half of the year is traditionally stronger than the first – the run-up to Christmas tends to account for about 35 per cent of full-year sales.