Top Gun Maverick

Source: Paramount

‘Top Gun: Maverick’

The UK home entertainment sector grew 14.3% in value across 2022, reaching £4.43bn; while the total value of the UK screen industries rose 12% to £11bn. 

According to figures released by the British Association for Screen Entertainment, provided by Futuresource Consulting, streaming video on demand (SVoD) was the main driver for this increase, growing 17.6% year-on-year.

At a sector value of £2.8bn, UK consumers held almost 50 million streaming subscriptions in 2022. This represents a 6.4% growth, indicating that the rate of growth is slowing after increases of 44% in 2020 and 28% in 2021.

It averages out at 2.7 subscriptions per household, compared to 2.3 in 2021. 56% of UK households use at least one online video service; and one in 20 UK households took out a new online video subscription in the last three months of 2022.

In the year when Netflix rolled out its ad-tiered options to more consumers and Disney+ announced plans to do the same, Free Ad Supporting Streaming TV (FAST) continued to grow. Figures from research firm Omdia indicating that the UK FAST market will be the second-biggest in the world by 2027, with a $500m value. The US currently leads the global FAST market with nearly $4bn of value, representing 90% of the worldwide total.

Electronic Sell Through (EST – where consumers download and keep their digital title) remains the biggest transactional format, with a 1.1% year-on-year rise. However, EST transactions dropped 5% on 2021, from 17.7m to 16.8m, and a £231m market value.

Video on Demand (VoD – where consumers rent their digital title) grew 6.1%, with 33.6m transactions and a £132m value.

The total physical disc market was worth over £200m, with Blu-ray and 4k UHD growing to represent 40% of that amount. 4k UHD had its largest year yet with £31m value, growing 14.7% and increasing its share of total disc spend to 13%. 910 different titles sold at least one 4k UHD disc, up from 746 in 2021.

2022 also saw a return to profit for UK entertainment retailer HMV, which opened 157 new stores after a long period of decline.

Top titles

Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick was the leading home entertainment title, with almost 1.6m sales across all transactional formats (VoD, EST, Blu-ray and DVD). Ownership methods (where the consumer gets to keep the title) represented 1.24m – 80% - of these transactions. The film added £17.3m in value to the UK sector on its own.

The original 1986 film Top Gun was the most-rented film of 2022, with 488,000 VoD transactions. This rounded off a stellar year for the Tom Cruise-led titles, with Maverick landing as the highest-grossing film across 2022 with £83.6m.

Spider-Man: No Way Home took second place, with almost 1.4m transactional sales, including 915,000 in ownership formats. This added up to £12.4m value to the sector.

For the first time the top-performing SVoD titles were available through the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB). The first episode of much-discussed Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan led the way with 4.5m viewers within its first seven days; while the first episode of Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power led the way for Amazon with 3.2m week one figures. 

Warner Bros. Discovery was the leading transactional distributor for the second year running, across both physical – with a 34% market share – and digital – where its share was 17.8%.

“UK Home Entertainment is now a model of complimentary channels and their successful co-evolution benefits savvy audiences,” said Liz Bales, chief executive, BASE. “The top transactional titles are shown to perform across all platforms – 13 titles in 2022 sold over 100k units on both EST and DISC. After a period of phenomenal growth in the last few years subscription rates are clearly slowing, but the introduction of ad-tiers to traditionally SVoD services like Disney+ and Netflix demonstrates the agility of our category to provide consumers with more affordable options amid the ongoing cost-of-living challenges.

“It also creates a significant new advertising revenue stream outside of traditional subscription and transactional revenues for the platforms, bolstering total industry revenue, and allowing continued investment in future content, while driving the potential for further subscription growth by giving consumers more options.”

Bales noted that box office success is still the greatest predictor of home ent value, as demonstrated by Maverick and No Way Home.

“We witnessed consumers and the industry adapt together during the pandemic,” said Yasmin Nevard, head of insights at BASE. “That resulted in huge growth for the streaming platforms, and across digital download and keep (EST) and digital rental (VoD), as audiences realised how simple digital Home Entertainment is. We believe that audiences and the screen industry will carry on adapting together in the future, as forecasts suggest that UK Home Entertainment will continue to grow, and as consumers continue to take advantage of shorter transactional windows to complement their engagement with the increasing number of SVoD, AVoD, and FAST alternatives.”