EMA: 80-90% of game purchases on physical media

US trade organisation denies "disc is dead" as prerecorded video transactions rise

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) yesterday revealed its latest findings about the state of pre-recorded media. 80 to 90 per cent of paid videogame software acquisitions in 2009 were for disc or cartridge-based products, the outfit's new survey claimed.

'The D2 report: discs & digital - the business of Home entertainment retailing' proved confident in proclaiming the robust health of physical media, despite the rise of digital distribution – both legal and illegal.

"While there has been a great deal of focus recently on the slippage of revenues in the DVD market, the untold story is that consumers' embrace of home entertainment remains very strong and packaged media is the preferred delivery instrument," stated Bo Andersen, EMA boss.

"Digital distribution is clearly an important segment of the home entertainment market and will continue to grow in market share in the coming year. While it is tempting for industry outsiders to say 'disc is dead,' as the saying goes, reports of its demise are grossly exaggerated."

The EMA also estimated that transactions of prerecorded video content (this time including digital delivery) increased some 2.8 per cent last year, amounting to 3.5 billion in total. DVD and Blu-Ray movie purchases brought in $17.9 billion, claimed to be nine times as much as digital distribution.

While the EMA's interests openly lie in supporting entertainment industry retail, the survey compiled data from the likes of Adams Media Research, Digital Entertainment Group, The NPD Group, Parks Associates, and ScreenDigest.

Latest comments (6)

Derek Leyva Writer 7 years ago
No surprises here, i live in Canada and very high internet cost's combined with download limits just makes it unfeasible for most of my fellow gamers to see DLC as a option, this includes Netflix, but from the research i have done this seems to be unique to Canada so hopefully this will get solved in the near future,i embrace DLC as the future especially for indie developers.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 7 years ago
Physical media still has a way to go yet I believe. Broadband here in the UK isn't exactly great still in a lot of places, in fact in Europe we got some of the slowest broadband as a nation. Whilst it looks like things are picking up, more rural areas are still suffering from slow broadband.
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Indeed broadband in UK is just realistically one step up from dialup compared to the likes of Japan/Korea
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 7 years ago
Not even that Dr. Wong, we're lagging behind the majors in Europe too.
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Stephane Elshocht Account Director, Nielsen7 years ago
80-90% of purchases still on physical media... because theres a lot of gaming still happening on platform not allowing download. I'd like to understand this ratio by platform, or at least by media type.... I still believe that physical media are far from being dead, but these numbers don't mean anything without context.... Assuming that half of sales are coming from platform which don't allow downloading... (PS2, DS, old PSP,...), it means, within platforms allowing both download and physical media, the share of physical media is probably more around 50% °_°
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Michael Abraham game designer 7 years ago
i'm still a fan of physical media (though disk checking does get tiresome), if only because it makes it feel like i actually own something. from a more practical standpoint though, it also means i can play said game (in most cases) despite it's age, or if the company that made it stops supporting it, or whatever other reason.

maybe i'm just showing my age here though :P
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