ERA produces the following reports and information for its members, all of which can be accessed through our website.
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Our yearbook is available at a cost of £50
Entertainment meets its annus horribilis
By Steve Redmond and Luke Butler
Even in the darkest days there's a chink of light and so it was
in 2012, a true annus horribilis for the entertainment retailing
Video sales declined by £179m, games by an horrific £336m and
music by £59m, yet entertainment retailers, long accustomed to
threats as varied as piracy, rampant price competition and
sometimes remarkably indifferent suppliers, showed their ability
once again to react to market conditions.
In 2011, music became the first of entertainment's three sectors
to become a majority online business. In 2012, games too became a
category delivered primarily online whether as physical product
delivered by an internet retailer or direct as a download. In total
entertainment in the UK is now 46% sold online.
There is barely a bricks and mortar entertainment retailer in
the UK who does not now also offer online sales. And ERA members
such as Spotify, Deezer, Blinkbox and Lovefilm are pioneering
entirely new ways of delivering content to consumers.
What none of this changes of course is the parlous state of
sales in 2012. The 12% value decline in the market was almost four
times that seen in 2011. More than half a billion pounds worth of
retail turnover in entertainment retailing simply disappeared
- equivalent to £9.06 for every man, woman and child in the UK,
more than the price of the average DVD.
Music was first into the trenches in the digital revolution,
games followed in 2012 with digital capturing a third of the entire
market: physical retailers will now be looking anxiously at the
video business which seems to be reaching its own tipping
The fundamental changes taking place
in the entertainment market were defined by two key indicators in
• Video games followed music to become a majority online
business in 2012. Only video is now still a majority bricks and
• Total digital entertainment sales exceeded £1bn for the first
time during 2012, a significant milestone for the "new"
With a final year-end tally of £1.033bn, digital sales of music,
video and games grew by 11.4% over 2011 to account for a quarter of
the combined entertainment market.
Those sales were far from evenly spread. Digital accounted for
just 6.1% of the video market, but 38% of the music business.
The result is that of the total digital entertainment pie, video
accounts for just 9.5%, while videogames accounts for more than
half - 53.4%.
ERA's entertainment market statistics
combine data from three leading sources:
• Official Charts Company data on actual sales of music and
video (physical) and music (digital);
• GfK Chart-Track data on actual sales of videogames on physical
• IHS Screen Digest estimates of digital sales of video and
videogames. Historical figures have been restated this year in the
light of more up-to-date information.