Rise in sales of digital content couldn't prevent decline in sales of entertainment media
Digital sales of games, music and films in the UK, raked in more than £1bn last year according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
These sales rose over 11 per cent and now account for a quarter of annual revenue according to ERA, which the retail trade body's director general, Kim Bayley, said was thanks to a "combination of a myriad of exciting new devices and compelling new digital retailing services."
Calling it an "incredible achievement" for retailers, he added that it "reflects their huge investment in new and innovative services – which means you can buy music, video and games literally at any time of the day and wherever you are."
However he pointed out that although physical sales of DVDs. CDs and video games had continued to decline last year, down 17.6 per cent on 2011 figures, this market was still resilient.
"I suspect many people will be surprised to learn just how resilient the physical business still is – with three-quarters of entertainment sales still on disc. Downloads offer convenience and portability, but people still seem to value the quality and tangibility of a physical product."
The figures released by ERA show that downloads of films and videos, while not accounting for the majority of sales, increased sharply by 20.3 per cent on 2011.
Music rose by 15.1 per cent over the same period with downloads of video games, which account for more than half of digital sales rising by 7.7 per cent.
However, despite the good news, a "dearth of attractive releases during summer 2012" couldn't prevent an overall decline in the entertainment market Bayley said.
"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," he said.
Updating your subscription status