U.K. Digital Entertainment Sales Surpass £1 Billion


LONDON: For the first time ever, digital sales of music, video and games exceeded £1 billion in the U.K., according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

For the year, digital sales of music, video and games in the country amassed £1.033 billion. This total is 11.4-percent more than the 2011 amount, and accounts for a quarter of the combined entertainment market. The sales of physical discs—CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games—still make up the lion’s share, despite having dipped by 17.6 percent from 2011 to 2012. Video showed the most growth, at 20.3 percent.

Overall though, even with the spike in digital formats, the entertainment market declined in 2012. Combined sales of music, video and video games were down 12 percent to £4.21 billion.

Kim Bayley, ERA’s director general, said, "The combination of a myriad of exciting new devices and compelling new digital retailing services is clearly exciting consumers. What is most striking is that these figures do not even include the impact of streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, We7 and Rdio, for whom full market value data is not yet available."

Bayley added, "The dearth of attractive releases during summer 2012 was clearly a significant factor. Suppliers need to do more to rebalance their release schedules and improve the quality of their releases. No retailer can afford to pay overheads on a store for 52 weeks of the year if all the key releases are going to be concentrated in the last quarter. And entrepreneurs will think twice about investing in new digital services if releases fail to excite the public. Luckily the message appears to be getting through and we look forward to being able to offer the public a much better release slate in 2013."