Digital services helped to drive UK sales of music, video and games to a fifth successive year of growth last year, with specific digital entertainment platforms showing incredible growth according to new research.
Altogether, digital services from digital entertainment platforms such as Spotify, Steam, Netflix, Amazon, Deezer, Sky, Apple and Google represented 71.9% of entertainment sales value in 2017, according to interim figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
“This is an historic result which demonstrates the benefits of innovation and investment in new technology,” said ERA chief executive Kim Bayley. “New digital services are bringing ever increasing numbers of the UK population back to entertainment with 24/7 access to the music, video and games they want. In the past, the growth of the market tended to be dependent on the release schedules of games publishers, film studios and record labels. Now, we are seeing a market which is also driven by digital platforms and technologies.”
Overall, the entertainment market reached a new high of £7.24bn in 2017. The 8.8% year-on-year sales growth in the combined music, video and games sectors outpaced growth in the wider UK economy by a factor of more than four.
Music revenues grew by 9.6% in 2017, almost twice the growth rate of the previous year, and according to ERA the key factor was the growth of paid subscription services from providers such as Spotify, Amazon and Deezer, where revenues grew 41.9% to £577.1m — the first time they have exceeded half a billion pounds.
In gaming, overall revenues also grew by 9.6% to reach a new high of £3.35bn, with digital revenues including digital online, mobile and tablet gaming surging by 12.1% to £2.56bn.
And when it comes to the video sector, digital now accounts for more than two-thirds of the market.
Digital video revenues from providers including Netflix, Sky Store, Amazon and Google grew by 22.2% in 2017 and now represent 70.9% of the video market. DVD and Blu-ray sales both declined, but the strength of digital was sufficient to outweigh this and produce overall market growth of 7.5%.