Home entertainment spending surpasses print sales for first time

£7.1bn was spent by consumers on the “printed word” - books, magazines and newspapers - while over £7.2bn was spent on home entertainment media, including music (from CDs, DVDs and vinyl records) video and games.

Announcing the news, the Entertainment Retailers Association pointed to the popularity of streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix as factors in the change.

“It is an extraordinary testament to the appeal and resonance of digital entertainment services that they have helped home entertainment to hit this milestone,” said Kim Bayley, the chief executive of the ERA.

The statistics show the change in how consumers shop: physical products are 'out' as buy-to-own formats are usurped by on-demand content. 80% of revenues were generated by buy to own formats in 2013, but last year some 56% of revenues came from digital sources.

Last year music streaming services collectively served 68.1 billion streams, as revenues from streaming grew by almost 42%. The only formats that have bucked this trend are vinyl - thanks to the vinyl revival - and video games.

But, of course, we can think of one print magazine that you really should keep on your shopping list...

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Adam was a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?, reviewing consumer gadgets for online and print publication, as well as researching and producing features and advice pieces on new technology in the hi-fi industry. He has since worked for PC Mag as a contributing editor and is now a science and technology reporter for The Independent.