News August 7, 2018

Report: UK music stores offering less scope for impulse buying, affecting physical sales

Staff Writer
Report: UK music stores offering less scope for impulse buying, affecting physical sales

Data analysts Kantar Worldpanel’s latest Entertainment Retail Barometer issues a warning to retailers – less floor space means less impulse buying which means fewer sales.

This particularly hits sales of physical music, which in the four months to July 1, dropped sales of £7 million (A$12.2 million) as a result compared to last year.

The fate was worse for physical videos: they had £16 million ($23 million) in lost sales.

Kantar analyst Giulia Barresi said, “Many retailers are reducing their floor space and this can mean shoppers are given fewer opportunities to make spur of the moment purchases, such as at the till.”

“As High Street stores change their look and feel in response to pressures from their online rivals, retailers need to ensure they are maintaining and creating environments that support spontaneous purchase if they are to turn the table on falling sales.”

Nevertheless, music buyers on average spent almost £4 ($7) more at HMV than the same period last year, helping the retailer to increase its share of physical music sales by 3 percentage points to 22.8%.

Driving this growth were big new releases including Resistance Is Futile by the Manic Street Preachers, The Greatest Showman film soundtrack and Tranquillity Based Hotel + Casino by the Arctic Monkeys.

The report said that the entire entertainment market (music, video, games) was down 11% year-on-year.

Amazon’s share dropped from 22.6% to 22.1% but it remained the sector’s top retailer.

HMV was second, rising from 15.2% to 17.7%.

The report also threw interesting data on the ranking of music streaming services in the UK.

The companies never release sales figures for individual markets. However, Kantar by-passed them and spoke to 15,000 customers.

According to its report, Spotify remains the most used service in the country, drawing one in 10 Brits.

10% of UK listeners are now aged 55 to 64.

However, in the period covered, Prime Music ranked #2 with a 3.8% market penetration, relegating Apple Music to third spot with 2.9%.

But such figures must take into account that different companies total users in different ways.

For instance, some regard family subscriptions as equalling six while others only count the person who pays the bill. Also blurring the data is that Amazon Prime members also get the music service bundled for no extra fee.

Barresi added, “Consumers have more choice than ever when it comes to where they stream entertainment online, which means services need to do more to attract users.

“Amazon is doing this well – its offer of free music with Prime delivery has helped the platform double its number of active users since last year, surpassing subscriber figures for the first time.”

It was a positive quarter for digital video, fuelled by sales of on-demand films increasing 28.1% last year.

The Greatest Showman was the biggest release of the period with 1.6 million shoppers buying the film across physical and digital formats – including 560,000 electronic downloads, the most of any film to date.

Netflix led video streams with more than one in five Brits actively streamed from a Netflix account in the four weeks to 1 July, while 11.5% of the population used its closest rival, Amazon Prime Video.

Mint games returned to growth again, fuelled by the quarter’s biggest release God of War. It more than doubled the sales of Mario Kart 8 – the biggest selling game this time last year.

If not for God of War, the games market would have declined by 13% instead of its 0.3% rise.

The Nintendo Switch claimed 22% of spend in new generation console software.

Said the report, “This is an all-time high coming at the expense of rival Xbox software systems which secured 20.9% of the market this quarter.

“The PS4 and PS4 Pro remain in pole position, capturing 57.1% of all new generation software sales.”

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