'Boxed software market is not dead' - PC Retail

'Boxed software market is not dead'

Software vendors praise digital downloads but say there’s still consumer demand for physical copies
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The boxed software sector is not dying, according to vendors, despite a rise in online downloads.

The likes of Amazon, PC World and Currys have all introduced digital software stores in recent weeks. But vendors have told PCR this won’t harm boxed sales – it just opens up more retail channels to them and their customers.

“We will continue to offer boxed software for as long as there is a meaningful need for it from customers and the channel,” Lee Sharrocks, UK and Ireland B2C director at Kaspersky Lab (pictured right), told PCR.

“However, there’s no doubt that the rise of ESD (Electronic Software Distribution) and POSA (Point of Sale Activation) products signals a significant change in the market. This is good news for all concerned as these smaller form factors open different retail channels for vendors, address green issues regarding product packaging, and provide a high level of convenience for consumers. 

“There is still some way to go before we see some consistency in the format of digital delivery.”

Jussi Arovaara, VP of Global Sales at Corel (pictured left), said: “Unlike some manufacturers, Corel still sees a future for boxed software and we continue to drive and support that revenue stream in our channel.”

Some vendors like Adobe have introduced subscription-only software models of late.

Arovaara commented: "Recent decisions made by other manufacturers has highlighted a large proportion of customers out there who want to 'own' their software, not subscribe. We're now seeing a significant number of new customers switch to Corel."

One indie retailer told PCR that vendors have a duty to be “fair and competitive” to all retailers, when supplying boxed software units to retail.

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