Booming digital services return entertainment retailing to growth
Music, video and games deliver “best result since 2009”
Grand Theft Auto V tops Entertainment Chart
Fast-growing digital services like Spotify, Netflix and Steam
helped entertainment retailing in 2013 deliver what is likely to
have been its best result since 2009, according to preliminary
year-end figures released today by the Entertainment Retailers
The overall UK music, video and games market was worth £5.4
billion in 2013, up 4% on 2012 when it was worth £5.1 billion.
ERA Director General Kim Bayley said, "This is a stunning result
after at least five years of decline. Retailers have invested
hundreds of millions of pounds in new digital services and these
numbers suggest the public is responding in their droves. New
technologies have historically presented challenges to the
entertainment business, but these results show how our members are
helping music, video and games companies find new markets."
ERA is the trade association for entertainment retailers of
every kind from specialists and independents, to supermarkets,
internet and download retailers as well as the new generation of
It says sales of videogames in the UK were up 6.6% overall in
2013 while video grew by 3.7%. Music sales declined 0.5%.
The biggest-selling individual entertainment title was Grand
Theft Auto V which sold 3.67m units.
The fastest growing entertainment categories in 2013 were mostly
- Digital video, which includes iTunes downloads as well as
streaming services like Netflix, Lovefilm and Blinkbox, grew by
40.2% to reach £621.4m;
- Music streaming, which includes the likes of Spotify, Deezer,
O2 Tracks and bloom.fm, grew by 33.7% to £103m;
- Digital games, which covers mobile gaming as well as PC and
console downloads, grew by 16.4% to £1.18bn.
The best-performing physical formats were Blu-ray video up 10%
to £251.8m and vinyl albums whose sales more than doubled (up 101%)
Said Bayley, "The big picture growth story in entertainment is
clearly digital, but the success of Blu-ray and - most
astonishingly vinyl - demonstrates that physical formats can still
flourish when they are able to offer something distinctive."
Videogames increased its lead as entertainment's biggest sector
during 2013 and now accounts for 41.4% of total entertainment sales
with video on 38.9% and music on 19.7%.
The entertainment market is still predominantly a disc-based
physical market with physical formats accounting for 56% of sales
in 2013. The most digital market is games where 53.7% of sales are
digital. Music is 48% digital, while in video nearly 70% of sales
are still on disc-based formats.
Media coverage of the games market in 2013 was dominated by
anticipation of the November launches of Microsoft's Xbox One and
Sony's PS4 consoles.
In the event these launches came too late to rescue the
hard-pressed physical games market which ended the year 2.9% down
on 2012. What they did achieve was a huge boost to retailers in
terms of console sales - which are not included in ERA's estimates
of overall market value.
The Xbox One sold 364,000 units worth £144.5m, according to GfK
Chart-track, while the PS4 sold 530,000 units worth £181.6m. But to
put these into context, even together they were worth less than
half the value of the digital games market which was worth £1.18bn
The biggest-selling console game of the year was Grand Theft
Auto V which sold 3.67m units.
Kim Bayley said, "Games continues to deliver digital sales
strongly, but it was disappointing that Xbox One and PS4 came so
late in 2013 and then huge demand meant stock sold out quickly.
Retailers will be working hard in 2014 to maintain the sales
momentum of these two great new pieces of kit."
Preliminary figures suggest video enjoyed its first growth since
2008 in 2013 - thanks to digital.
Sales of physical formats declined 6.8% to £1.44bn, but digital
sales value grew by 40% to £621m reflecting the rapid growth of
streaming services like Netflix, Lovefilm and Blinkbox.
The biggest-selling video of the year was Skyfall which sold
2.96m units worth.
Said Bayley, "Video has done well to maintain its physical
presence while enjoying strong digital growth. The challenge for
video companies in 2014 will be to establish attractive physical
formats which offer digital copies which enable them to hang on to
valuable store space."
Music's 0.5% decline was a marked improvement on recent years,
but will come as a disappointment to many retailers after a year of
significant investment by digital services.
Innovation and investment by streaming services brought a 33.7%
increase in subscription revenues to £103.1m according to BPI
estimates, meaning the nascent streaming market already accounts
for nearly 10% of consumer revenues in recorded music.
"Streaming services are driving a revolution in the music
market," said Kim Bayley.
The biggest-selling album was Now That's What I Call Music 86
which sold 1.2m copies. Its sister titles Now…85 and Now…84 were
the second and third biggest-selling albums of the year
Kim Bayley said, "Music's performance is primarily due to a weak
release schedule, which is particularly disappointing given the
huge investment by digital services in music's future. 2011's
biggest-selling artist album was Adele's 21 which sold 3.9m copies.
2012's biggest-seller was Emeli Sande's Our Version of Events which
sold 1.4m. In 2013 One Direction's Midnight Memories sold just
715,000 copies. Retailers will be hoping that labels deliver bigger
hits in 2014."
Grand Theft Auto V tops 2013's Entertainment
The biggest-selling entertainment product in 2013 was videogame
Grand Theft Auto V, according to the latest edition of ERA's annual
Entertainment Chart, which combines sales data of videos, games and
With 3.67m units sold, it was well ahead of second-placed
Skyfall, the James Bond movie which sold 2.96m units. Third place
was taken by an Entertainment Chart regular, the latest edition of
the FIFA videogame, FIFA 14 which sold 2.66m units.
Of the Top 20 best-selling entertainment titles in 2013, 13
positions were taken by videos, five were videogames and two were
music albums, both of them editions of the Now… compilation
ERA is the trade association representing the vast majority of
retailers and digital services offering music, video and games. Its
members range from independent record shops (Rough Trade, Reflex,
Sister Ray) to internet retailers (Amazon) to specialist High
Street operators (HMV, Game) to supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsburys,
Asda, Morrisons) to digital services (Spotify, Deezer,
ERA members supply the sales data which powers the Official
Charts Company (music and video charts) and GfK Chart-Track
(videogames). Together with record companies trade association the
BPI, it owns the Official Charts Company.
ERA provides the organisational force behind Record Store Day,
the annual celebration of independent record stores which has
become the most successful new music industry promotion of the past
ERA works closely with its sister organisations in music, video
and games and is a strong proponent of open markets, open standards
and consumer choice.