Market Insight

Genre split data by format now available for all countries

December 09, 2015  | Subscribers Only

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  • IHS has improved and expanded its analysis of physical video genre split data to allow direct comparison between territories and formats
  • Historic genre shares by volume for DVD and BD retail for every country (children's, feature film, music, TV and other) now available via IHS Video Intelligence
  • Detailed historic and forecast data on volume, value and average price by genre by format and by sector (rental data covers feature film, TV and other) available on IHS Video Intelligence Trax.

Following an extensive process of research, analysis and data modelling IHS has added detailed genre split data by format to every country covered by its Video Intelligence services. The complete data set covers historic and forecast data by sector for DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD). Retail data covers five key content genres - children's, feature film, music, TV and other - while rental data, reflecting the narrower focus of the physical rental market, is split by feature film, TV and other.

IHS analysts have used our own extensive knowledge of market definitions and data modelling techniques to assess the relative strength of the five key genres in each territory in both volume and value terms. We have also calculated the average price for each of these key retail genres, enabling subscribers to compare like with like across markets and regions.

Subscribers to IHS Video Intelligence Trax have access to the entire genre split database, including detailed historic and forecast data by genre on volume, value and average price by format and by sector. In addition, every country in IHS's Video Intelligence service now includes historic genre splits by volume for key DVD and BD retail genres (children's, feature film, music, TV and other) as  well as more detailed genre split data for those markets where it is available.

Our analysis:

The paucity of raw data on sales by genre, combined with a lack of consistency in data gathering methodology has meant that historically it was impossible to reliably compare the performance of genres across different markets.

Even where the raw data does exist, it may be based on sales by volume (as in the US and UK) or by value (Japan and Australia). Since average prices per genre can vary dramatically depending on the ratio of expensive box sets to budget and/or catalogue titles in each country, volume and value shares can look very different.

Furthermore, there are no industry-accepted conventions governing genre definition. This is a particular concern for mainstream animated movies, which are often among the biggest releases of any given year. In many countries, including the USA and Australia, any title that benefits from a major theatrical release is automatically categorised as a feature film. However, in the UK, the British Video Association has historically categorised animated movies as children's titles, reflecting their target audience. Meanwhile in Japan, it's their production style that drives classification: in the country where domestic, adult-oriented anime accounted for an incredible 46% of consumer spending on BD last year (16% on DVD), the output of Disney/Pixar and the rest is not considered children's fare but "foreign adult animation".

Clearly any comparison of genre splits by territory must start by understanding the nuances of how each genre is defined and, where appropriate, redefining them. In the case of animation movies, IHS has always agreed with the view that a major theatrical release trumps other genre considerations, so titles like Disney's Frozen or Universal's Despicable Me franchise are classified as feature films (while straight-to-video animated sequels would be counted as children's titles).

The recent, record-breaking performance of Frozen highlights the potential impact of failing to identify inconsistent genre classifications. The Disney title sold more than 4 million units in the UK, 3 million in Japan and, according to IHS's Titles Database, shipped over 14 million units in the USA. According to our analysis, if Frozen (but none of the year's other animated movies) had been classified as a children's title in the US, it would have boosted that genre's share of volume sales from 10.5% to 13% last year. In the UK its inclusion would have increased the share of children's titles from 7% to 10%. And in Japan, where Frozen's record-breaking success contrasts with a lack-lustre market for dedicated children's product, it would have doubled the latter's market share from 6.5% to 13%.


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