London, 30.03.2020

TV sales jump in the week Boris orders Britain to stay indoors

DVD and Blu-ray watching are on the rise, while Sky Sports viewing drops as live games are cancelled

TV sales in Britain jump in the week 15th – 21st March, up +59.5% in volume compared to the same week last year, and +43.3% in value.

Two weeks ago, Britons were told they had to stay home and only go out for absolute essential trips – triggering a rush on TV sets. This jump in sales was highest amongst the smaller screen sizes – 42 inches or less.

Kelly Whitwick, UK Retail Lead for Market Insights at GfK, comments, “Despite the jump in sales, the average price point of the overall purchases is at its lowest point seen this year. This suggests people are buying basic models for practical solutions, rather than splashing out to enhance the viewing experience with a better model. Basically, people are facing having their entire household at home every day; possibly with the need to keep distance from each other, and almost certainly with very different views on what they want to watch – so they are quickly buying an extra TV to spread out around the house.”

Looking at what people are watching, the percentage of viewers frequently watching DVDs or Blu-ray discs increased from 5% in the week of 2nd March to 11% the week after. Likewise, ‘download to own’ (DTO) content viewing has jumped from 4% up to 9%.

On the other hand, there has been a drop in access to premium TV packages, such as Sky Sports - from 24% in the week of 2nd March to 20% the following week.

Sam Tuck, Associate Director of Consumer Insights at GfK, comments, “Given the lack of live sports content available to view at the moment, we anticipate further drops in those accessing premium sport viewing services in the coming weeks. Instead, we expect a rise in people signing up to video-on-demand platforms – albeit potentially only on a short-term or trial basis. Whether this will have a long-term benefit for the services, with people retaining subscriptions at the end of their trials, is something we will be tracking.”

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