Market Insight

This page is being updated with the latest 2016 year end data.

We appreciate your patience whilst this is completed.


A resilient industry consistently worth in excess of £2.2 billion.

The market as a whole continues to be buoyant above £2.2 billion with total spending on video, including owning, renting and subscribing, grew 1.5% in 2015.

4 Box Matrix

Consumers prefer to own…

Across all formats, ownership comprised 57% of the market, while rental and subscription accounted for 43%.

 …and they still prefer discs

Despite the growth of digital, in terms of volume, discs still outsold digital taking 52% against 48%, as consumers continue to value the quality and convenience of physical media.


Consumers find comfort in disc


The resilience of DVDs is due to their overall fit with home needs. Consumers say they love them as they:

  • need no explanation or specialist knowledge – it doesn’t matter how technical you are;
  • can be used by everyone in the home – from infants to centurions;
  • remain easy to gift and share – their ubiquity means over 90% of homes has a DVD playing device.

The physical nature of the DVD is also very important to many consumers. A disc is often perceived as more substantial due to being tangible and therefore consumers place a higher value on it.

In short, DVDs provide shoppers and viewers of screen entertainment with comfort.  

 Blu-ray continues to have the highest level of satisfaction amongst its buyers than any other video format.


DVDs are widely available to buy from over 15,000 retailers nationwide, including online with supermarkets accounting for the sales of one in two DVDs and one in three Blu-rays. Popular retail chains include HMV, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrison’s and Amazon.

Consumers are now also buying more through less traditional outlets, such as fashion and DIY stores, garden centres and petrol stations. It is estimated that these non-traditional stores now represent approximately around one in ten sales.

Consumers both plan and buy on impulse

One quarter of the adult British population buy DVDs on impulse with a similar proportion buying as part of a planned purchase.

Planned purchases make up just under half of all sales and just over half of retail spend as they tend to be for higher priced New Release titles. Impulse purchases make up just over half of all sales and just under half of all consumers’ spend on discs.

Two thirds of retail spend on Blu-ray are planned purchases.

 The gift that keeps giving

One quarter of DVD and one sixth of Blu-ray sales are bought as gifts throughout the year.

Q4 (October – December) regularly accounts for more than one third of DVD and Blu-ray sales volume as key titles are released as ideal Christmas gifts. Two fifths of spend on TV titles is in Q4. A decade ago the category was more reliant on Q4 as it represented one half of all sales, whereas today volume is spread more evenly across the year as a result of both changing release strategies and consumer behaviour.

Digital goes mainstream

In the past five years there has been a fourfold increase in the proportion of consumers that have gone omni-channel: that is they go to the cinema, buy discs and pay for digital content – up from 2.4% in 2011 to 10% in 2015.

There has been a fivefold increase – from 1.5% in 2011 to 8% in 2015 – of consumers who go to the cinema and pay for digital content, and do not buy discs.

It’s a Digital HD world

Consumer appetite for higher quality content also continues to strengthen with High Definition (HD) now accounting for over two thirds of digital downloads of films compared to around 80% of disc spend on DVDs, the standard definition (SD) format.

10 year market trend revised

Market trends and forecasts

Global information supplier, IHS, estimate retail spend on digital downloads through platforms such as iTunes, Sky Store, Amazon, Talk Talk Store, Google Play and Wuaki increased 12% in 2015.

Futuresource Consulting report that at least eleven titles achieved retail spend of over £1m in 2015, up from four in 2014.

IHS also estimate retail spend on transactional video-on-demand (t-VoD), through a TV platform or over the web, increased 19% in 2015 whist spend on subscription services (sVoD), such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and NOW TV delivered a 45% year-on-year uplift.

Consumer behaviour is changing and 2016 is set to be the year that retail spend on digital services overtake disc for the first time.