JB Hi-Fi's Sales Results Reveal More People Are Ditching Physical Media

JB Hi-Fi's latest financial results have revealed a marked drop in software sales (music, movies and games), with the business category down 11.9 per cent compared to same period in 2012. This is despite the hotly-anticipated release of next-generation video games for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Could the balance be shifting towards digital media as more consumers embrace tricked-out media centres? Is piracy to blame? Or has the quality of software just been a bit crap this year?

CD picture from Shutterstock

If JB Hi-Fi's latest sales figures are anything to go by, it would appear that more and more consumers are finally ditching physical media for the convenience of digital libraries. In its latest half year results presentation, the company reported a 7.9 per cent drop in music, game and DVD/Blu-ray sales since its last financial report and an 11.9 per cent drop compared to the previous year.

Interestingly, despite investing in a fairly robust online store, the vast majority of JB Hi-Fi's profits still come from traditional brick-and-mortar. While online sales grew 15.4 per cent last year, the category only represents 2.2 per cent of total sales for the business. Online visitations also grew significantly, with an average of 1.2 million customers visiting the site every week.

The rest of the results are fairly predictable with hardware sales up 11 per cent with the fledgling home appliance category helping to boost its profits. You can peruse the full report here.

Personally, the slump in software sales came as a slight surprise — we would have thought the pre-Christmas launch of the Xbox One and PS4 would have helped to boost software sales in Q4, despite the continuing decline of CDs and DVDs. Then again, the current crop of next-gen video games are old ports or samey sequels, so perhaps gamers are just biding their time.

What's your take on JB Hi-Fi's software sales? If any readers have recently ditched physical media, we'd love to hear the reason why. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

JB Hi-Fi Limited Half Year Results Presentation [ASX]


Comments

    Even if I wanted to buy physical CDs for music, most of what I would have bought in Australia even 3 years ago is no longer available because there are no bricks and mortar stores selling the content I buy. A substantial number of those are not available locally in digital stores so I have to use a VPN to buy from overseas.

    It's still rarer for me to buy video content online because the Australian digital options are much more expensive than buying physical DVDs or BluRay which are usually heavily discounted at outlets like Sanity or Hum. JB Hi-Fi's online store may be robust, but its content is narrow and firmly MOR.

      It is absolutely for a better and cheaper experience. My online relationship with overseas record labels far surpasses the experience I ever had at a physical shop. The effortless access you have to incredibly detailed information about music, such as at Discogs, is the realisation of a dream.

      With 320k MP3s and FLAC, the sound quality of downloads is not an issue anymore if you like that aspect. Even CDs are much cheaper than they were when I was a teenager in the 90s. I used to think it was great being in HMV etc and I would think nothing of paying $31.99 for an album around 1997! But now, it was the bad old days.

      I can have chats and sometimes hang out with musicians I got music from. This was so far from being possible when I was a teenager.

      Last edited 03/02/14 9:51 pm

    I still buy plenty of my content on physical media, just not from any Australian stores as it's simply too expensive. The day I can walk into JB and buy a game on release day for ~$35-$45 is the day I start doing so.

    The internet killed the record store.
    Buggles should release a remix of "Video killed the radio star"...LOL!

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