10 Things We Learned From The ERA Yearbook

Tuesday, March 25 2014
10 Things We Learned From The ERA Yearbook

The arrival of the Entertainment Retailers Association Yearbook, which landed on doormats, postboxes and pigeonholes across the industry last week, is always a great day for budding statisticians, trainspotters and, if we may be so bold, anyone who’s interested in the entertainment business, or at the very least home elements of it.

The ERA Yearbook should be required reading for people in our industry, as it provides a picture of not just where we’re at but, increasingly, where we’re going too.

Some of is open to interpretation, some of it is staring you in the face, some of it is blindingly obvious, some buried within and around the wealth of data contained within its pages, some of it is truly useful, some more trivial, but enjoyable nonetheless. And it is, for our viewpoint, completely fascinating.

We’ve been trawling through its pages, pulling out interesting facts and figures and ahead of offering up a chart of 2013’s top selling entertainment titles across all formats and sectors, here’s the 10 Best Things We Learnt From The 2014 Era Yearbook…

Video is still the least digital sector of the entertainment industry
According to the figures, with growth of 40 per cent, video was the fastest growing area for digital formats, ahead of both music and games. But the video sector still has room for growth in the digital arena, with less than half of its £2 billion plus revenue coming from digital, compared with around 50 per cent for games and music.

Access is the new buzzword
As the ERA Yearbook rightly notes, the entertainment industry was essential founded on the idea of ownership. And after the VHS and early DVD era’s flirtation with rental, ownership was dominant again. But, as it states: “Perhaps the most dramatic conceptual change in the way retailers see themselves in the digital age is their switch to offering access to entertainment as well as ownership. Many of the fastest growing areas of the entertainment business in 2013 were access models, such as the streaming if music and video.” In the case of the video, ownership was down 4.7 per cent to 1,547 million, while ownership was up a whopping 44 per cent to 494.9 million.

Video has some of the fastest growing sectors of the entertainment business
Of the nine fastest growing sectors across music, video and games, almost half – four to be precise – are video-related. The quartet are video subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon (up 120 per cent) UltraViolet (62.8 per cent), download to own (27 per cent) and good old Blu-ray (10 per cent).

There are more stores selling videos than ever
There are now more stores than ever, certainly for the last seven years, selling videos. That means more multiples and more supermarkets (currently 2,806 and 5,337 respectively) selling video-related product, although the specialist chain sector was half what it was in 2007 in 2013 (1,059 outlets versus 469). Interestingly, independent stores are now on the rise, from 138 stores in 2012 to 191 a year later).

Supermarkets aren’t necessarily the cheapest
Think that the supermarkets are driving down the price of a DVD or Blu-ray? Think again. The average price of a DVD rose in supermarkets, from £6.77 to £7.05 year on year. It fell in both the specialist, generalist and Indie sector to 6£6.72 and in the home delivery area to £6.80. Overall the average DVD price was up to a touch over £7 per unit. On Blu-ray, both the supermarket and home delivery average price rose, with the overall average price per unit bring £12.07. Supermarkets are the most expensive place to buy Blu-rays, at £14.94 per unit more than £3.50 pricier than the specialist sector.

Catalogue sales are still tough
As many in our industry probably know, the catalogue market is has become harder than the new release sector in terms of maintaining sales, a fact that’s certainly backed up by the ERA figures: the catalogue market fell by just over 10 per cent in value terms (from £890 million to just under £796 million), the fall was even steeper in unit terms.

There are scores of titles out there
According to Official Charts Company data, there were a whopping 7,033 titles released on video in 2013. What’s even more eye-watering is the number of titles now available – 109,445 titles, of which more than 101,000 are on DVD, with just under 8,000 available on Blu-ray. A grand total of 162 million videos were sold in 2013, the biggest single day was December 23, when 1,685,277 units were sold, which equates to 1,170 per minute.

Consumer behaviour provides great insight
Consumer behaviour is playing an increasingly important part in ERA’s work and there’s some interesting insights in the Yearbook. As it rightly notes the digital subscription arena is one of the most “dynamic” areas, with LOVEFiLM (as was) inching ahead of Netflix in terms of awareness and usage. Sky’s NowTV offering was growing, but, intriguingly, the Sky Store was actually behind Virgin’s On Demand service on the Pay TV vod arena.

Piracy stats in the digital arena are huge
The final part of the Yearbook is taken up with some fascinating facts and figures – take, for example, a wealth of anti-piracy facts and figures from the likes of FACT. Our favourites? Well, for sheer weight of numbers, the fact that the BPI asked Google to take down a whopping 62,561,096 links to illegal content takes some beating. Some 117 pirate websites were shutdown, 24 pirate sites were blocked and 200 plus brands were contacted about their adverts appearing on illegal websites. Oh, and 480,756 counterfeit DVDs and CDs were seized by BPI investigators.

There’s some fascinating Industry Trust figures too…
Our last entry concerns some of the facts and figures put forward by the Industry Trust, which shares office space with ERA, showing how its efforts are paying off – traffic at the FindAnyFilm.com website, now under the guiding hand of the Trust, is up 500 per cent, while the Trust’s Moments Worth Paying For ads have now been seen by 36.9 million cinemagoers, its outdoor posters have been seen by 378 million eyeballs…

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