NPD: Digital sales up 17%, not enough to reverse industry decline

By Brenna Hillier
8 August 2012 23:44 GMT

Ahead of tomorrow’s full July report, the NPD Group has released some interesting figures showing a significant increase in digital sales.

Total spend in the US during the second quarter amounted to $2.88 billion. Of this total, $1 billion was new gaming software and $386 million was accounted for by used games and rentals.

Most pertinently, digital sales hit a total of $1.47 billion, a 17% year-on-year increase on the same period of 2011. The NPD’s definition of digital sales includes full games, DLC, subscriptions, mobile games and social games.

“While this growth is in stark contrast to the declines in new physical software and hardware sales, the size of digital sales is not quite large enough to offset these declines, leading to an overall drop in consumer spending in Q2 by 16 percent,” the NPD’s Anita Frazier said.

Outside the US, the NPD reports similar results. In the UK, France and Germany alone, digital sales totalled $983 million, well ahead of the $243 million generated by used games and rentals.

“Europe differed from the US in terms of softer mobile spending, but greater stability in rental trends. Growth in full-game and add-on content downloads in the second quarter is surprisingly similar as the content behind this increase is suitable to both markets,” Frazier elaborated.

The NPD Group will release its monthly sales report for July tomorrow.

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