Digital sales top £1 Billion in U.K.

DDSigh. With some of us dragging our heels, it seems like digital distribution is the wave of the future - as well as the present.

In the United Kingdom, home entertainment sales dropped 12 percent in 2012, while there was an 11.4 percent gain in digital distribution. Sales topped the £1 billion mark for the first time in the U.K., as well.

Digital sales now make up nearly a quarter of the overall market in the U.K., with $1.68 billion (£1.03 billion) in sales, according to data from the Entertainment Retailers Association.

Home entertainment sales still accounted for $6.86 billion (£4.21 billion), as the physical sale of CDs, DVDs, Blu Rays and video games fell 17.6 percent. Given the rumors that the next Xbox and Playstation systems might go disc-less (most experts believe they will be the last video game systems that still use discs, however), these numbers could plunge even further.

"Breaching the £1 billion barrier is an incredible achievement for the U.K.'s digital entertainment retailers and reflects their huge investment in new and innovative services, which means you can buy music, video and games literally at any time of the day and wherever you are," said Kim Bayley, ERA's director general. "Despite digital's seemingly inexorable growth, the CD, the DVD and the physical games disc show incredible resilience. It is nearly nine years since iTunes launched in the U.K., yet over 60 percent of music sales are still accounted for by physical formats."

I do not mind digital distribution; I just prefer the physical format. And, as retailers like Circuit City and Borders close their doors, I fear for a day when we are unable to go to a physical store to browse. I wonder how this affects companies like the BBC that receive public funding, as well. Are they making the money off the home market that their leadership expects?


- BBC one

Written by: Hamatosan
Jan 2nd, 2013, 10:51 am


Level 1 (97%)
Since: 11/Mar/08
Message Posted On Jan 4th, 2013, 2:25 pm

This is a tangent from just the last sentence of the article but just the same I'll make the point. I know it is a little difficult to fathom on that side of the pond but here goes:

"The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)( listen (help·info)) is a British public service broadcasting corporation.[2] Its main responsibility is to provide impartial public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man."

"…funded principally by an annual television licence fee…", "… the World Service grants are supplemented by profits from commercial operations through a wholly owned subsidiary, BBC Worldwide Ltd.…"

Sourced from Wikipedia, BBC

"Public broadcasting includes radio, television and other electronic media outlets whose primary mission is public service. Public broadcasters receive funding from diverse sources including license fees, individual contributions, public financing and commercial financing."

Sourced from Wikipedia, Public_broadcasting

Here in Finland we have a similar public service broadcasting corporation (YLE) and no, netiher BBC's nor YLE's main job is to make profit. That is the point. Their reason for being is in fact something quite different than to make profit.

Related to the topic at hand for example. YLE in Finland is partly responsible for actually making sure there is a nationwide network and infrastructure for broadcasting TV and Radio signals in cases of emergency regardless if those networks make commercial sense. Commercial networks can ditch areas that are not profitable.

(had to remove links)


Level 4 (93%)
Since: 02/Aug/12
Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2013, 1:03 pm

However, said publically-funded entity is under a lot of scrutiny for how it spends its money. If it is losing a revenue stream, that hurts the bottom line even more and increases scrutiny. Not sure why that is hard to understand. The BBC does try to make a profit, after all.


Level 1 (97%)
Since: 11/Mar/08
Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2013, 11:13 am

"I wonder how this affects companies like the BBC that receive public funding, as well. Are they making the money off the home market that their leadership expects?"

Erm… What? Publicly funded entitities such as the BBC are not necessarily, and often do not, make a profit.

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