Lockdown boosts TV and DVD sales, but sport channels suffer
In the same week the prime minister ordered the British public to stay indoors to slow the spread of the coronavirus, TV sales increased +59.5% in volume compared to the same week last year.
The jump in sales between 15 – 21 March was highest amongst the smaller screen sizes – 42 inches or less, and coincided with a reported rise in DVD and Blu-ray viewing.
However, according to GfK, the research firm that tracked the data, premium broadcaster Sky suffered as its sports channels - usually a central offering to its service - took an obvious hit.
GfK said access to Sky Sports dropped from 24% in the week of 2 March to 20% the following week.
“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," said Sam Tuck, associate director of consumer insights at GfK.
"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.”
Despite the jump in sales, the average price point of the overall purchases is also at its lowest point seen this year.
GfK said 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,” said Kelly Whitwick, UK retail lead for market insights at GfK.
Looking at what people are watching, the percentage of viewers frequently watching DVDs or Blu-ray discs increased from 5% in the week of 2 March to 11% the week after.
Likewise, ‘download to own’ content viewing has jumped from 4% up to 9%.