Security software is one of the most important segments of the non-game market.

The security software sector

Security suites represent 38 per cent of the software sales in terms of volume during the first quarter of 2008, compared to 33 per cent during the same period in 2007, which puts it in positive growth.

There are also the three standalone-product categories to consider. Antivirus, while still the largest of the standalone products, has seen declines of 34 per cent both in terms of volume and value and now represents just four per cent of the total market.

It’s a similar picture with firewalls and privacy control software. All of this adds up to the security suite segment taking around 90 per cent of all the total security sales.

GfK account director Clemence Dulau commented: "We observe more and more competition in the boxed security software market: there were only two brands last year with more than one per market share in volume; we now have six brands competing to win market share. Trade brands are also more and more important with a very attractive offer in terms of price."

The retail market for security software is vast and represents 91 per cent of the volume sales in the first quarter of 2008 with a growth of 11.2 per cent versus the same period last year. The total average price is increasing – £2 more this year – bringing the average price to £29.

Only one channel has a price in decline: the mass merchandisers. Their price is down by £7, from £28 in the first quarter 2007 to £21 in the first quarter of 2008. It is also the channel where a lot of the new providers focus on entering the UK market and so where the competition is the most intense.

"The mass merchandiser channel is the fastest growing in the software industry," added Dulau. "We have seen growth of 60 per cent in volume in 2007 versus 2006 and the channel now represents 17.3 per cent of the total software market.

"There is a clear strategy for the mass merchandisers to develop their IT boutique with more space dedicated in-store and greater explanations and add-on services aimed at the home consumer."

"GfK expects that growth will continue through the rest of the 2008 and forecasts an increase of 15 per cent in volume sales [for full suites] in 2008 versus 2007," added Dulua.

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