The British public spent more money on music, video and games in 2017 than on books, magazines and newspapers, according to official figures published for the first time in the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) Yearbook.
It is the first time in history that revenues from entertainment exceeded those of the printed word.
The key driver is the dramatic growth of digital services from the likes of Spotify, Steam, Netflix, Amazon, Deezer, Sky, Apple and Google.
According to research prepared for ERA by the Leisure Industries Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, Britons spent £7.2 billion (€8.09) on music, video and games in 2017 compared with £7.1 billion on books, magazines and newspapers.
While entertainment sales reached an all-time-high for the third year in succession, spending on the printed word was stagnant and substantially down on its 2007 peak of £8.3 billion.
“It is an extraordinary testament to the appeal and resonance of digital entertainment services that they have helped home entertainment to hit this milestone nearly 550 years since the invention of the printing press,” said ERA CEO Kim Bayley.
2017 was a banner year for the entertainment industry with revenues reaching £7.24 billion, up 8.8 per cent on 2016. That 8.8 per cent growth rate exceeded that of virtually every sector monitored by the Leisure Industries Research Centre including Eating Out (up 7.7 per cent), Alcoholic Drink (up 6 per cent), Holidays Overseas (up 4.4 per cent) and Gambling (up 1 per cent). Total leisure spending was up 5.2 per cent.
“The 2008-2009 recession hurt both the entertainment and reading markets,” noted Dr Themis Kokolakakis from the Leisure Industries Research Centre. “Since 2012, the entertainment market has recovered very strongly producing record 2017 results. Traditional media is under pressure, partly because of the growth of streaming services, partly because there is so much competition for people’s time and attention. Entertainment has grown while reading has stagnated.”
“The success of the UK entertainment market is ultimately the result of collaboration between the creatives, studios and labels who produce compelling content and the retailers and services who bring it to the public,” added Bayley.
Elsewhere in the ERA Yearbook, figures show the dramatic change in the make-up of the entertainment business. Five years ago, more than 80 per cent of revenues were generated by buy-to-own formats such as discs or downloads. In 2017 56 per cent of revenues came from so-called access models like music and video streaming, electronic movie rental or subscriptions to online multiplayer games, paying for digital micro-transactions and making in-app purchases on mobile devices.
“The success of the entertainment business is a testament to the power of innovation, creating new ways for people to enjoy the music, video and games they love,” declared Bayley.
While the Yearbook tracks the continuing growth in digital, two physical formats showed notable growth:
“Digital services may be grabbing the headlines, but physical retailers continue to identify new opportunities to showcase and drive sales of discs,” advised Bayley. “Vinyl is a prime example of retailers nurturing demand for a product most people had long written off. It would be foolish to underestimate the consumers continuing affection for physical product.”
The ERA Yearbook also includes the 2017 ERA Entertainment Chart, combining data on both digital and physical sales of music, video and games.
It reveals that Ed Sheeran’s album Divide was the best-selling music, video or games title in the UK in 2017, achieving sales of 2,702,839 albums.
In 2017 33 music, video or games titles sold over half a million units. Of these, 10 sold over 1 million units and three over 2 million. Of the Top 40 biggest sellers, seven were music albums, 10 were videogames and 23 were videos, led by a trio of titles from Walt Disney Studios – Beauty & The Beast, Rogue One – A Star Wars Story and Moana.
“We all knew that Divide was huge, but now we can see it was more than twice as big as Moana and more than three times the success of Trolls, observed Bayley. “Many congratulations to Ed and all the people who helped make it such a success.”
|ERA Entertainment Chart 2017|
|1||Albums||Divide||Ed Sheeran||Warner Music||2,702,839|
|2||Videogames||FIFA 18||Electronic Arts||2,696,721|
|3||Videogames||Call Of Duty: WWII||Activision Blizzard||2,442,416|
|4||Video||Beauty And The Beast (2017)||Walt Disney Studios||1,484,565|
|5||Video||Rogue One – A Star Wars Story||Walt Disney Studios||1,380,402|
|6||Video||Moana||Walt Disney Studios||1,293,787|
|7||Video||Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them||Walt Disney Studios||1,279,850|
|8||Videogames||Grand Theft Auto V||Take 2||1,080,022|
|9||Video||Bridget Jones’s Baby||Universal Pictures||1,052,753|
|10||Albums||Human||Rag’n’Bone Man||Sony Music||1,001,913|
|24||Video||Wonder Woman||Warner Home Video||591,316|
|25||Videogames||Tom Clancey’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands||UBISOFT||574,889|
|26||Albums||Now That’s What I Call Music 96||Various Artists||Sony Music/Universal Music||560,286|
|27||Video||Spider-Man – Homecoming||Sony Pictures||551,227|
|28||Video||Pirates Of The Caribbean – Salazars||Walt Disney Studios||538,735|
|29||Video||The Girl On The Train||20th Century Fox HE||525,996|
|30||Video||La La Land||Elevation Sales||525,342|
|31||Albums||The Thrill Of It All||Sam Smith||Universal Music||501,952|
|32||Video||The Boss Baby||20th Century Fox HE||501,453|
|33||Video||Fast & Furious 8||Universal Pictures||500,617|
|34||Video||The Lego Batman Movie||Warner Home Video||494,446|
|35||Videogames||Gran Turismo: Sport||Sony Computer Ent.||484,933|
|36||Albums||Glory Days||Little Mix||Sony Music||468,173|
|37||Video||Fifty Shades Darker||Universal Pictures||466,119|
|38||Video||Hacksaw Ridge||Elevation Sales||465,138|
|39||Videogames||Horizon Zero Dawn||Sony Computer Ent.||456,374|
|40||Video||War For The Planet Of The Apes||20th Century Fox HE||435,440|