Digital downloads break through the £1bn barrier

2 Jan 2013

A quarter of the home entertainment market is now digital, with more than £1bn being spent on downloaded films, music and games in 2012, according to the latest figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

That's an increase of 11.4% over 2011. The same figures show a big drop in sales of physical, disc-based media. Sales of CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games fell by 17.6% in 2012, although they still account for around three quarters of the market.

Video games accounted for more than half of digital sales at £552m (+8%). Films and music had a smaller share of the digital market but grew more sharply, with downloaded films up by 20% and music by 15%.

Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA, says that breaking the £1bn barrier was an "incredible achievement" for retailers.

"This 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.

"At the same time I suspect that 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 complete breakdown of digital sales is as follows:

• Music £383m (up 15.1% on 2011)

• Films/video £98m (+20.3%)

• Video games £552m (+7.7%)

• Total: £1,033m (+11.4%)

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Probably would be even higher if more was available to download in UK, much high res. stuff in USA is not available to download here in UK due to territory restrictions.