Footage from future blockbusters including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (pictured) headlined a ground-breaking presentation organised by the British Video Association today.
With sales of new release film on DVD and Blu-ray set to rise 2% in the UK this year, following an 8% decline in 2014, BVA CEO Liz Bales said the “Insight Forum” — compered by broadcaster Edith Bowman — was developed to give distributors an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the entertainment category at retail.
“It has never been done before, the sector has not come together and lined up their content in that way for the benefit of retail before. All of our members, large and small, have been incredibly supportive in providing a look at their long-lead content — content that wasn’t even shown at Cineeurope. I am blown away by what people said they would deliver for the day. It’s a real coup for us in the UK for us to have mounted this initiative to drive the video category,” she said.
“It is a really significant move because it says we are happy to work as a collective to demonstrate to both physical and digital retailers that we are absolutely committed to the category, committed to sustainability in physical and growth in digital.”
Other exclusive content from the future video category slate showcased included The Walt Disney Company, “Zootropolis” from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Everest” from Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, “The Walk” from Sony Pictures, as well as, “Suffragette” and “The Peanuts Movie” from Twentieth Century Fox, as well as many others.
Around 200 video industry representatives, among them 40 retailers, attended the Insight Forum, including Tesco Category Director Electrical, Entertainment & Media Ian Ditcham who pledged his company’s support for the video category.
“It is vital to retail, what other product group offers such an engaging opportunity to bring products to life outside of the core category aisle? Video presents new opportunities every week for cross-category conversions thanks to franchises and the emotive connection consumers attach to filmed content. The halo effect video has across store is magnificent; however, intrinsic to our collective success is the collaboration between distributors and retailers,” said Ditcham.
The forum also saw sessions presenting new research into consumer shopping habits, which Bales said would help retailers to plan their schedules: “We wanted to look at consumer shopping habits and map that against the releases coming down the line over the next 18 months.”
BVA research suggests that half the UK population is familiar with downloading videos and 55% of purchasers of digital content plan to stick with the format. It also says that half the UK population buys videos each year, with the average annual spend per buyer on physical discs being £51.03.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment MD and BVA Chair Robert Price said the daily value of video sales today equates to £4 million on physical formats and £2 million on digital.
“Although physical ownership is still dominant, digital is an important driver of growth. This represents a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on shopper demand and work hand-in-hand with retailers to maximise the opportunity across all outlets and platforms to showcase new releases and draft catalogue across all formats,” he said.
Gidon Katz, MD of Sky-owned streaming service Now TV, also delivered a keynote speech in which he praised the BVA’s collaborative approach: “It’s reassuring that the BVA and others are driving such pioneering insight-led change and championing a collaborative approach to the benefit of everyone across the industry.”