NPD planning to report digital sales monthly

By Steve Watts, Mar 16, 2011 7:45am PDT

The NPD Group, the market research firm that has come under fire recently for its retail-only video game sales reports, is working on shoring up its data with digital retailers. Ultimately, the company aims to create a monthly total sales report that includes digital sales.

"We are expanding the number of digital retailers we have relationships with in order to develop a digital POS (point of sale) service," the NPD's Anita Frazier told GamesIndustry. "The goal is to provide our clients with a total POS games tracking service that incorporates the growing digital channel as well as the currently predominant physical sales format, and to deliver this at the same frequency as we currently do for new physical retail sales (monthly)."

Part of the process, she says, is for digital distributors to be open with their own sales figures. "We expect it to happen, especially as digital grows to become a larger portion of the consumer's overall spend," she said. Frazier also mentioned that without this openness, it will become "increasingly challenging" for businesses to make decisions regarding digital investments.

Only two days ago, we heard similar (but harsher) rhetoric coming from EA, going so far as to call the NPD data "a misrepresentation of the entire industry." At the time, Frazier told Shacknews that its quarterly reports include digital sales. The NPD Group could have been planning the jump to monthly data before EA's comments made headlines, but stating so publicly shows that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

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