GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

Digital vs Physical Media Statistics [Fresh Research]

Highlights: The Most Important Digital Vs Physical Media Statistics

  • CD album sales in the US have dropped 95% since 2000 and are at their lowest level since 1986.
  • The subscription economy has grown more than 435% in the last 9 years, almost 6x growth in less than a decade.
  • Digital purchases rose from 71% in Q1 of 2021 to 79% in Q1 of 2022, before dropping to 62% in Q2 and Q3 and returning to 71% in Q4.
  • CD album sales in the US have dropped 95% since 2000 and are at their lowest level since 1986.
  • Print books outsold e-books 4-to-1 in 2020, with 750.89 million units sold compared to 191 million e-books.
  • Nearly 80% of all PS5 and PS4 games are bought digitally.
  • In 2020, 74% of all global video game sales were digital, compared to 26% for physical copies.
  • In 2019, streaming accounted for 80% of the U.S. music industry’s revenues, while physical media accounted for just 9%.
  • In 2018, digital magazines grew by 165% over a five-year period, while print magazines declined by 33.5% during the same period.
  • In 2020, sales of digital newspapers outperformed physical copies for the first time, with digital sales making up 56% of total newspaper revenue.
  • In 2021, the film industry is expected to generate $28.7 billion of digital revenue, while physical copies will only represent $2.2 billion.
  • In 2020, U.S. adults spent nearly 8 hours per day on digital media platforms, significantly surpassing time spent on traditional media formats.
  • By the end of 2022, there will be more than 26 million digital comic subscribers, up from just over 20 million in 2018.
  • In the first three months of 2020, e-book sales revenue increased by 5.5% compared to the same period in 2019.
  • In 2020, digital album sales surpassed physical album sales on a global scale, making up 59% of total album sales.
  • From January to June 2020, digital platforms accounted for 94.3% of home release film revenue, while physical copies accounted for just 5.7%.

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As the digital age continues to evolve, the debate between digital and physical media has become increasingly relevant. With the rise of streaming services and digital downloads, physical media such as CDs and DVDs are becoming less popular. But which is better?

In this blog post, we will explore the main digital vs physical media statistics. We hope it will be helpful for you!

Digital vs Physical Media: The Most Important Statistics

83% of video game sales occur digitally, allowing companies to keep all the revenue from the game and bypassing the need to manufacture, package, ship, and wholesale.

CD album sales in the US have dropped 95% since 2000 and are at their lowest level since 1986.

The subscription economy has grown more than 435% in the last 9 years, almost 6x growth in less than a decade.

Digital vs Physical Media: Statistics Overview

83% of video game sales occur digitally, allowing companies to keep all the revenue from the game and bypassing the need to manufacture, package, ship, and wholesale.

This statistic shows the increasing prevalence of digital media over physical media. Digital media is becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness, and this statistic shows that the majority of video game sales are now happening digitally. This shift away from physical media has major implications for the gaming industry, as companies can now keep all the revenue from the game and bypass the need to manufacture, package, ship, and wholesale.

Digital purchases rose from 71% in Q1 of 2021 to 79% in Q1 of 2022, before dropping to 62% in Q2 and Q3 and returning to 71% in Q4.

This statistic demonstrates the increasing trend of digital purchases over physical purchases, which could be indicative of a larger shift in consumer preference towards digital media.

12 million households in the UK still don’t have SVOD and 11 million households still actively use DVD players, showing that physical media is still relevant.

This shows that physical media is still relevant in the UK, despite the rise of digital media. This is important to consider when looking at the overall market, as it shows that physical media still has a place in the market.

CD album sales in the US have dropped 95% since 2000 and are at their lowest level since 1986.

This shows the shift away from physical media towards digital streaming, and the impact this has had on the music industry.

Print books outsold e-books 4-to-1 in 2020, with 750.89 million units sold compared to 191 million e-books.

Books are still an exception, likely due to the preference for physical books over e-books. This highlights the importance of physical media in the digital age.

90% of college graduates and 61% of high school students have read a physical book in the last year, while only 40% and 15% have read e-books and 34% and 12% have listened to audiobooks respectively.

This shows that physical books remain the most popular form of narrative media, despite the increasing prevalence of digital media. This could be due to the different narrative experiences that physical books provide compared to their digital counterparts.

The subscription economy has grown more than 435% in the last 9 years, almost 6x growth in less than a decade. Between this and the rising number of subscription services over the last few years, it is the dominant, most popular way for people to consume films and TV shows.

This statistic shows that subscription services are becoming increasingly popular, leading to a shift away from physical media consumption. This has implications for the media industry, as subscription services offer a more convenient and cost-effective way for people to access films and TV shows.

Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, concluded that the PlayStation 5 digital version will help accelerate digital-only games to account for 80% share of global game sales, compared to just 20% for physical games in 2025.

This statistic signals a major shift in the gaming industry towards digital-only games. This shift could have a major impact on how people buy and play video games. It also highlights the increasing importance of digital platforms for gaming and the growing demand for digital gaming content. The statistic also speaks to the power of the PlayStation 5 and its potential to drive the industry forward.

Nearly 80% of all PS5 and PS4 games are bought digitally.

This statistic highlights the growing trend of digital downloads for video games, rather than purchasing physical copies. This trend is beneficial for both gamers and game developers, as digital downloads are often cheaper and more convenient for gamers, and provide increased revenue for developers. The statistic also demonstrates the continuing success and relevance of the PlayStation brand, which has been a leader in digital downloads for many years.

Supplementary Statistics

In 2021, digital media consumption surpassed traditional media, with 58.8% of the global population using digital devices, compared to 41.2% traditional media consumers.

This is an important piece of evidence to consider when discussing the advantages of digital media over physical media, and how digital media has become the go-to source for entertainment, news, and information.

In the first half of 2020, digital video subscription revenues grew 23.3% year-over-year, with physical video rental and sales revenue decreasing by 19.1%.

Digital video subscriptions are on the rise, while physical video rental and sales revenue is declining. This indicates that people are increasingly turning to digital media for their entertainment needs, which is a trend that is likely to continue in the future. This is an important statistic to consider when discussing the impact of digital media on the entertainment industry.

In 2020, 74% of all global video game sales were digital, compared to 26% for physical copies.

Copies of video games are becoming increasingly popular, with a majority of sales now coming from digital sources. This shift in consumer preference has implications for the industry, as physical copies of video games become less and less common. This statistic is an important piece of evidence for anyone looking to understand the current trends in the video game industry.

Global online streaming revenue from movies is forecasted to grow from $27.12 billion in 2020 to $50 billion by 2026, showcasing a consumer shift towards digital media.

More and more people are turning to digital streaming services for their entertainment needs. It highlights the growing trend of digital media, and how it is quickly becoming the preferred choice for consumers. This shift away from physical media is an important trend to note, as it has implications for the future of the industry.

In 2019, streaming accounted for 80% of the U.S. music industry’s revenues, while physical media accounted for just 9%.

Streaming has become the dominant form of music consumption, while physical media has become a much smaller part of the industry. This shift has had a major impact on the way music is produced, distributed, and consumed, and it is important to understand the implications of this change.

In 2018, digital magazines grew by 165% over a five-year period, while print magazines declined by 33.5% during the same period.

Digital magazines are becoming increasingly popular, while print magazines are losing ground. This is an important trend to consider when discussing digital vs physical media statistics, as it demonstrates the shift in consumer preferences and the potential for digital media to become the dominant form of media consumption.

In 2020, sales of digital newspapers outperformed physical copies for the first time, with digital sales making up 56% of total newspaper revenue.

This shift in consumer preference is an important development for anyone interested in the future of media, and provides valuable insight into the potential of digital media.

In 2021, the film industry is expected to generate $28.7 billion of digital revenue, while physical copies will only represent $2.2 billion.

This is an important one to consider when discussing digital vs physical media statistics, as it provides a clear indication of the direction the industry is heading.

In 2021, consumers in North America spent about 12.1 hours per week listening to digital audio, while only 2.45 hours were spent with traditional radio/physical media.

Digital audio has become the preferred medium for listeners, with traditional radio/physical media taking a backseat. This is an important insight for anyone looking to understand the current media landscape and how it is changing. It also provides a valuable perspective on the future of media consumption in North America.

In 2020, U.S. adults spent nearly 8 hours per day on digital media platforms, significantly surpassing time spent on traditional media formats.

Digital media platforms becoming the go-to source for entertainment and information. It highlights the importance of digital media in today’s world and the need for businesses to focus their efforts on digital marketing and advertising. This statistic is a key piece of evidence in the debate between digital and physical media, and it is essential for understanding the current media landscape.

By the end of 2022, there will be more than 26 million digital comic subscribers, up from just over 20 million in 2018.

This trend is likely to continue, as digital comics offer convenience and accessibility that physical media cannot. As such, this statistic is an important indicator of the changing landscape of comic book consumption, and should be taken into account when discussing digital vs physical media statistics.

In 2020, it was estimated that digital magazine subscriptions attracted 15.1 million subscribers, while print magazines had approximately 14.2 million subscribers.

Digital magazine subscriptions are gaining traction, with a notable increase in subscribers compared to print magazines. This statistic is important to consider when discussing the future of digital vs physical media, as it demonstrates the potential for digital media to overtake physical media in the magazine industry.

In the first three months of 2020, e-book sales revenue increased by 5.5% compared to the same period in 2019.

This is an important trend to note in the context of digital vs physical media statistics, as it suggests that digital media is becoming the preferred choice for readers.

In 2020, digital album sales surpassed physical album sales on a global scale, making up 59% of total album sales.

It demonstrates that digital album sales have become the dominant form of album sales, outstripping physical album sales on a global scale. This shift in consumer behavior is an important factor to consider when discussing digital vs physical media statistics.

From January to June 2020, digital platforms accounted for 94.3% of home release film revenue, while physical copies accounted for just 5.7%.

Digital platforms have become the dominant force in the market, accounting for an overwhelming majority of revenue. This shift away from physical copies has major implications for the industry, as it suggests that digital media is the preferred choice for consumers.

Conclusion

Digital media has seen a massive surge in popularity in recent years, and the statistics show that it is here to stay. While physical media still has its place in the market, it is clear that digital media is the future. It is more convenient, more accessible, and more cost-effective than its physical counterpart.

As technology continues to evolve, digital media will only become more popular and more widely used. It is up to the consumer to decide which medium they prefer, but the statistics show that digital media is the way of the future.

References

Games Industry: “The future is digital – right?”, cited February 2023. (Source)

TrueList: “Gaming Statistics – 2023”, cited February 2023. (Source)

Push Square: “Nearly 80% of All PS5, PS4 Games Are Bought Digitally”, cited February 2023. (Source)

IBC: “UK ENTERTAINMENT REPORT: DVDS STILL RELEVANT AND 21M WITHOUT SVOD”, cited February 2023. (Source)

ARS Technica: “DVD and Blu-ray sales nearly halved over five years, MPAA report says”, cited February 2023. (Source)

Statista: “The Rise and Fall of the Compact Disc”, cited February 2023. (Source)

Toner Buzz: “Paper Books vs eBooks Statistics, Trends and Facts [2023]”, cited February 2023. (Source)

Wonderment: “10 Stats About the Future of the Subscription Economy”, cited February 2023. (Source)

FAQs

What are the advantages of digital media over physical media?

Advantages of digital media over physical media include convenience, portability, and cost savings. Digital media is also easier to share and distribute and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

What are the advantages of physical media over digital media?

Advantages of physical media over digital media include the tactile experience of owning a physical product, the ability to resell physical media, and the ability to access the media without an internet connection.

How does digital media affect the environment?

Digital media can have a positive effect on the environment by reducing the need for physical products and the associated production and transportation costs.

How does physical media affect the environment?

Physical media can have a negative effect on the environment due to the production and transportation costs associated with producing physical products.

What are the differences in cost between digital and physical media?

Digital media is generally cheaper than physical media due to the reduced cost of production and distribution.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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