Where do UK consumers buy their DVDs?

10 February '14 Comment

DVD shoppersIn discussions about why certain types of British films are made, the topic of supermarkets often comes up. The experience of purchasing a DVDs in a Tesco or Asda is a very different to that of browsing online retails such as play.com or in dedicated shops such as HMV. Anecdotally I’m told that it favours films which “go well with a few beers”, hence the increase in gangster and football-focused films of late. I can’t provide data on which films go well with a Carling but we can look at where UK consumers are buying their DVD and Blu-rays.

In summary…

  • UK consumers buy more DVDs in supermarkets than online
  • Almost a quarter of all the DVDs sold in the UK are bought via Amazon
  • 82% of digital films are sold on iTunes
  • The data suggests that Sainsbury’s Online is the most expensive supermarket website to buy DVDs

Where We Buy Physical Copies

Supermarket sales make up 38% of the UK market by value.

These figures show market share by value, not volume. If we compare these figures with those for volume we can see that supermarkets make up 38% of value but 41% of volume.  This suggests that they sell either cheaper DVDs or charge lower prices than other types of retailers.

The biggest difference between the market share of value and volume was Sainsbury’s Online, which suggests that they are either the most expensive major supplier selling DVDs or that they stock a higher proportion of more expensive DVDs than their rivals.

The Main Retailers Selling Physical Copies

Where We Buy Digital Copies


The figures I used came from the British Video Association, Kantar Worldpanel and the BFI. I focused on market share by value, as opposed to market share by volume. This was an arbitrary choice on my behalf but it does not seem to skew the outcomes in any significant way.


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Stephen Follows