Streaming and downloads of films and TV series in the UK have overtaken DVD and Blu-Ray sales for the first time.
Figures released show that 2016’s revenue from digital video rose to £1.3 billion last year, marking a growth of 23%.
Digital video services such as iTunes and Sky Store along with streaming services such as NOW TV and Netflix have boosted the popularity of digital content in the UK.
High street sales of physical content like DVDs and Blu-Ray dropped by 17% to £894 million, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens being the most-purchased film on disc.
The total revenue of music, TV, films and video games in the UK last year rose to a record-breaking £6.3 billion, signalling a rise in paying for content.
Since launching in 2012 in the UK, Netflix has gained 6 million subscribers, with Amazon Prime Video currently having around 2.3 million users.
Sky Store had over 3 million customers last year, with its ‘Buy and Keep’ service that allows users to get a digital and physical copy of a film, grew by 80%.
Kim Bayley, chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association, said that digital meant that viewers had more ways to watch, but that physical copies were still popular as gifts.
“We’ve seen an explosion of technology that has allowed people to consume entertainment in different ways.”
A multichannel economy is going to exist for some years to come. The strength of the DVD and CD formats over the Christmas period shows that physical still dominates when it comes to gifting, for instance.”