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Physical Media Sales Slump as Streaming Takes Over

19 August 2019 - 14:04 by Paul Tissington

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Brits are buying far fewer physical copies of movies, music and TV shows than ever before, with a new study from Kantar confirming that the rise of streaming services is putting a serious dent in the DVD, CD and Blu-Ray market.

In Q2 this year there was a 19 per cent dip in physical media sales in the UK, with consumers collectively spending £213 million on this type of product both on the high street and via safe shopping online.

DVDs were hit hardest, with sales falling by almost a quarter year on year. This is likely down to the fact that as well as facing competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, movies in this format must also account for the fact that they offer lower levels of visual fidelity due to their standard definition nature.

Music CD sales were down by 11 per cent, although analysts claim that one of the main factors explaining this was the dearth of album launches from high-profile artists.

Video game sales on physical media were also reduced, slipping by 14 per cent, so that total spending in this area limped over the line at £62 million - a sure sign that digital game purchases and downloads are leading the way.

Owning a physical copy of any kind of entertainment is arguably entirely unnecessary today, and it is not just the proliferation of streaming platforms that is causing this change. It is now incredibly easy to buy digital copies of films, music and games which can be owned indefinitely and effectively suffer none of the same complications as a physical disc, such as the need to store it at home, protect it from damage and keep it in an organised way that makes it easy to find.