Online sales reach record share of physical entertainment

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Postby brian05 » Mon May 14, 2018 8:42 pm

From Music Week.

The latest quarterly entertainment date from Kantar Worldpanel reveals that online sales have reached a record share of the physical entertainment market, including music, games and video. For the first time, sales of physical music products including CDs and vinyl are equal across bricks and mortar and online stores.

James Foti, consumer specialist at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Online physical music sales are booming, growing by 13.6% in the past quarter. Shoppers are choosing to increase their online spend and they’re paying higher average prices by opting for more expensive products like vinyl, which as a sector has attracted over 260,000 shoppers in the past 12 weeks online alone. As a result, pureplay retailers like eBay have captured an increasing share of the physical music market, though Amazon retains the No.1 spot.”

Figures for the 12 weeks to April 8 reveal that online now accounts for 42% of physical music, gaming and video purchases. Amazon’s share was up by 3.5 percentage points to 25.9%. Foti added: “Overall, physical entertainment declined by 13.5% over the past quarter but online sales were a real bright spot. The average shopper spent almost £19 when shopping online over the past 12 weeks – that’s in comparison to around £15 in store – and the lure of e-commerce has now persuaded 27% of consumers to buy their physical entertainment goods exclusively online.

“A further 37% still split their spend across online and offline, suggesting the high street still plays an important place for shoppers and that those retailers which aren’t embracing a multichannel approach may lose out.”
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Postby NothingFails » Tue May 15, 2018 3:56 am

Makes sense... much cheaper to buy vinyl off Amazon than in brick and mortar stores
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Postby Robbie » Tue May 15, 2018 9:15 am

While I don't buy many CDs these days I always get what I do buy from amazon. My town, with a population of about 70,000, no longer has a record store (at one time it used to have 5) so unless I travel to Newcastle or Sunderland I'm stuck with the very limited range that my local Asda and Sainsburys stock.

Given that most supermarkets stock the same limited range I'd imagine that is why so many people buy online - it's simply more convenient and less expensive than travelling to simply buy an album.

The ironic thing is that I don't usually play the CD. Amazon allows the purchaser to download an mp3 version of the album for free for most albums and the cost of the CD is often cheaper than buying a standalone mp3 version of the album. Most of the CDs I've bought over the past few years are still in the shrink wrap!
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Postby Gambo » Wed May 16, 2018 12:56 pm

Interesting post - I think we often forget the power of online in selling physical product; we so often think in terms of the reality or virtuality of the product itself (CD or download) and whether we consume it through a traditional live shop or a personal electronic device, but forget that people who still prefer a tangible copy of their recorded music will now increasingly just order it up from their armchairs as they would a digital item.

Since CD singles fell off the cliff at the turn of the decade, I don't buy many CDs - I never did purchase that many albums, on any format - but the few that I have felt compelled to buy have been split between online and physical retailers. Contemporary easy-to-obtain stuff I'll usually trot along to HMV (we somehow still have a resurrected branch in the town where I work despite the original one having closed!), while more unusual items I'd go via Amazon. Costs aren't that important as I buy so little now, so if I don't always bother shopping around to find the best bargain it's not a big deal.

I think it's important that some real-life High Street record shops still exist though, albeit that inevitably it will be in a much-diminished number and with uneven geographical coverage. There's sometimes no substitute for flicking-through CDs, vinyl - possibly once again even cassettes - in a shop to 'get the feel' of the actual product, especially if it was originally issued in a physical format. To those of us for whom that experience was ever the norm, I think it's comforting to know it can still be done, however few places there may be, and however seldom we actually ever go and do it. Trouble is, nostalgia alone won't keep the stores alive; people have to buy - which is why we should be so grateful to those supporting the vinyl mini-revolution, as although many will use Amazon et al, they're sufficiently-engaged with the 'cult' of physical product that a goodly number will always prefer to shop for it in the time-honoured traditional manner: in a record store.
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