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In 1977, UK-based pop group The Buggles declared that “video killed the radio star.” Things moved on a little in the ensuing years, but while the influence of video remains as large as ever, how it’s consumed in the UK has changed beyond recognition. This is particularly true for the home video market, with first VHS tapes and now DVDs falling out of favor.
May 2016 data from Strategy Analytics illustrated just how far—and how quickly—the market for DVDs has fallen in the UK. According to the research, DVDs (either rented or bought) accounted for 75% of the home video market in 2011. By 2016, that proportion had dropped to 40%, and the company predicted that this would slump even further, to just 13% by 2021.
Digital downloads have played a part in the waning popularity of DVDs, but the biggest disruptor has been streaming services. Such services accounted for just 1% of the home video market in 2011. By 2016 that figure had rocketed to 33%, and by 2021, streaming services are predicted to account for over half the home video market in the UK.
The rise in digital video viewing shows no sign of abating. eMarketer predicts that 62.8% of the UK population will be digital video viewers this year—a larger proportion than will be smartphone users. Much of their viewing, it appears, is coming at the expense of physical formats. Indeed, according to Strategy Analytics, DVDs are nearing extinction in the UK.
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