Netflix, LOVEFiLM, blinkbox drive booming UK digital entertainment market

Parent Category: News | 02-01-2014

Digital services have driven what is likely to have been the most successful entertainment market since 2009, according to the trade association for entertainment retailers in the UK.

Preliminary year-end figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) show that the overall UK music, video and games market is on track to be worth £5.296 billion in 2013, up 4% on 2012, with the fastest growing entertainment categories in the year being mostly digital.

Digital video will likely be 2013’s growth leader,with ERA calculating that that the sector sector — including Apple iTunes downloads as well as streaming online video services like Netflix, LOVEFiLM and blinkbox — will have grown 40.2% to reach £621.4 million. Notably, the inexorable rise of digital video was offset by a 6.8% decline in physical video sales to £1.438 billion leading to a video market worth £2.06 billion, up 3.7%. This would mean that the video market enjoyed its first growth since 2008.

Commenting on the data, 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.”

Looking to what the New Year will bring for video, Bayley cautioned that even though video has done well to maintain its physical presence while enjoying strong digital growth, the challenge for providers will be to establish attractive physical formats which offer digital copies which enable them to hang on to valuable store space.