US digital sales up year over year during second quarter

Encouraging news coming out of the NPD today, as the group revealed digital sales for Q2 2012 were up year over year by 17 per cent.

The amount spent in the US on video game content in all forms from April to June totaled $2.88bn. That figure divides into $1bn in new physical video and PC game software, $1.47bn from game content in digital formats including full game and DLC content downloads, subscriptions, social network and mobile games. The other $386m was brought in by rentals and used game sales.

Though the growth of the digital side is a great sign for an industry stuck in a doom and gloom state of mind, the numbers were not enough to offset declines in physical hardware and software.

"In the second quarter of this year, sales of content in a digital format have grown 17 percent over Q2 2011," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "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."

Frazier also noted a few significant differences between spending in Europe versus US.

"While many European acquisition trends in the second quarter of 2012 mirrored those we saw in the U.S. due to seasonality, Europe differed from the U.S. 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."

NPD brings forth the info a day ahead of its full retail report for July.

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