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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.

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.