“Joker” proved to be the top U.K. home entertainment title of 2020 as consumers stayed home during the pandemic, the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) revealed Wednesday.
“Joker” sold more than 1.4 million copies across disc, electronic sell through (EST) and TVOD (transactional video-on-demand).
Based on data from the Official Charts Company, Futuresource Consulting and Kantar, the BASE figures also show that the home entertainment sector grew by 26% in 2020, bringing the total market value to £3.3 billion ($4.47 billion).
Total EST sales across both film and TV content recorded 14.5% growth year-on-year after a boom during the March 2020 lockdown. Spend on TVOD, supported by shoppers new to the category, saw 24% growth. Kantar reports that the total number of customers buying and renting across the video category grew 14% between March and November to 12.9 million as audiences sought flexible access to content across transactional methods.
SVOD services grew by 42% in 2020 and streaming services now account for 74% of the total market value, with new services joining the market in 2020 such as Disney Plus, and an expansion in the uptake of existing services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video during the first U.K. lockdown period.
2020 saw title-level data on TVOD activity become available for the first time from the Official Charts Company, based on data from digital retailers. VOD activity saw a period of rapid growth during the COVID-19 March lockdown, with an average of 600,000 rentals per week before lockdown rising to more than 1 million rentals a week after lockdown was implemented.
Digital rental proved popular, with more than 30.8 million rental transactions made through October 2020.
U.K. consumers are increasingly opting for premium formats when purchasing titles on disc, with Blu-ray sales now accounting for 30% of the disc market value, up from 27% in 2019. 4K Ultra High Definition, with sales up 20% year-on-year, accounted for a 23% share of total Blu-ray sales. High value re-releases of catalogue content thrived in 2020 and a vast array of classic content has been given the 4K UHD treatment, with 564 titles now available and many more on the way in 2021.
Popular TV boxsets included “Game of Thrones” season 8, “Chernobyl,” and the “Doctor Who” and “Downton Abbey” collections.
The Walt Disney Company ended the year as the leading distributor across combined disc and digital volume sales with a 19.1% share, and in physical formats alone, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment continued as the largest distributor across disc sales for both volume and value.
Liz Bales, chief executive of BASE, said: “With the pandemic affecting all corners of life across 2020, evolution in the video category has undoubtedly advanced. Digital transactional video has arguably been a beneficiary of conditions that forced people to stay home, as more than two million new customers joined millions more already engaging with EST and VOD content, uncovering a depth and breadth of diverse catalogue and new release content available without subscription.”
“This shift to digital doesn’t diminish the resilience of physical formats, though, as evidenced by the performance of TV and catalogue content on disc, and by the strength of premium formats like Blu-ray and 4K UHD both underlining that many viewers are still driven by collection and the access to the best possible home viewing experience that disc provides,” Bales added. “2021 is clearly set to be a year of unknowns as a post-pandemic normality develops, but it is clear that the transactional market, in its established and newer distribution models, continues to be a significant part of the picture across an industry well versed in dealing with change.”
Official Video Chart 2020
(All Digital Retail; Blu-ray and DVD, EST and VOD)
2. “Frozen 2”
3. “Jumanji: The Next Level”
5: “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”