Prince and Bowie drive rise in entertainment spending online

Prince

Online spending on films, music and games in the UK has bounced back, thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and consumers buying the back catalogues of David Bowie and Prince.

More than a third of shoppers in the physical entertainment market bought a product with the online retailer Amazon in the 12 weeks to 3 June. This helped the company to achieve its highest ever share of spending on DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs and games outside the Christmas period, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Online sales of physical entertainment products stuttered during 2015 as the high street, led by HMV, made a fightback. Consumers, however, have turned back to Amazon and other online sites because of the size of their catalogue as they look for classic songs and albums by Prince and David Bowie, who both died this year.

Prince sold more albums during the 12-week period than any artist apart from Adele. Sales of CDs more than six months old grew by 9% year on year, helped by Prince and Bowie.

No music titles, however, made it into the top 30 entertainment products for the quarter. Following its box office success, the latest Star Wars movie was the bestselling title in the entertainment market, with 1.8 million shoppers picking up a copy of the DVD or Blu-ray. Tesco was the big winner, taking nearly a third of all spending on the product.

Tesco’s overall sales fell 0.5% in the entertainment sector, meaning its market share dropped slightly to 15.2%. On the high street, HMV’s sales rose 2.3% year on year, increasing its market share from 14% to 16.3%. Amazon’s sales rose 0.5%, increasing its share of spending from 22.5% to 23%.

Fiona Keenan, Kantar’s strategic insight director, said:“Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the biggest Blu-ray film title sinceAvatarover six years ago and there are signs it has helped get people back into the market – encouraging, given the competition Blu-ray and DVDs face from digital streaming services such as Netflix.

“Online spend across the industry has bounced back from declines over the past year and now accounts for over a third of spend – the highest it has been since this time in 2015.

“Having the availability of a wide back catalogue means online retailers are extremely well placed to cater to changes in consumer demand, as exemplified by the recent surge in sales of Bowie and Prince albums following the death of both iconic artists earlier this year.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Julia Kollewe, for The Guardian on Monday 1st August 2016 00.01 Europe/London

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