UK entertainment market is booming thanks to digital sales and gaming

The gaming market is now bigger than music and video combined

By Becky Cunningham, last updated Jan 3, 2019.


  1. Becky
    The UK entertainment market is at an all-time high of £7.537 billion after six years of consecutive growth, according to new findings from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). The growth has been largely driven by the increasing popularity of digital services such as Spotify and Netflix, which now represent 76% of the entertainment market.

    The research looks at three different markets within 'entertainment', being Gaming, Music, and Video. Interestingly, gaming now accounts for more than half of the entertainment market and it is now larger than video and music combined, despite the fact that it is the youngest of the three. Indeed, the gaming market is now worth more than double what it was in 2007 as a result of sharp growth. Within the gaming market, digital sales represented 80% of total revenue, which is higher than video (72%) and music (71%).

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    The figures show that physical sales are down across gaming, video, and music. Despite this, the analysis reveals that "physical disc sales are still crucial to deliver the biggest hits with sales of the Top 20 films to own of the year averaging 74.1% physical and the Top 20 albums of the year averaging 61% physical."

    Top three games of 2018 were FIFA 19, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4, which together sold more than 4.8 million units.


    The CEO of ERA, Kim Bayley, said, “On a market level these figures are a stunning testament to the investment and innovation of digital services who have transformed the fortunes of an entertainment industry many had thought was doomed by the internet and piracy. Significantly in this week of HMV’s news, however, the data shows that if you want a real mass market hit, you need the reach and convenience of physical formats.

    She continued, “In music even today more people buy CDs than pay for streaming subscriptions and in video more homes have DVD players than subscribe to all the leading video services put together. The challenge for physical retailers is to tap into this huge market of occasional buyers.”

    Within the entertainment market, music streaming saw the biggest growth in 2018 compared with the prior year; the total sales were £829.1m which is an increase of 37.7%.

    Whilst the overall entertainment market may be doing well, highstreet retailers have been suffering as a result of declining physical sales. In the week ending 21st December 2018 sales of DVDs, Blurays, and CDs were all down by around a third compared with the same time last year.