A record eight million people in the UK paid to download a movie or video game in the past year, new data from Kantar Worldpanel has revealed.

Digital videos sold more than Blu-rays for the first time, with 4.9 million people downloading a paid-for film or TV show – representing 13.5% of all UK video sales.

One in five games buyers – 3.2 million people – paid for a download in the past year, including 1.1 million bought for use on a tablet or smartphone.

“The rise of digital music over the past few years has been well documented,” said Kantar consumer insight director Fiona Keenan.

“Music downloads now account for 35% of total music sales value.  We are now starting to see a similar situation in the game and video markets.” 

She added: “Over the past year, we have seen a phenomenal rise in the popularity of tablets and smartphones. More than one in seven people have told us they now have a tablet in their household and over 52% of the population own a smartphone.

“This has meant the appetite for digital games and videos has grown rapidly.”