UK Consumers Break Entertainment Streaming Record

Consumers in the United Kingdom spent more than £100 million a week on digital entertainment services such as Netflix, Amazon, Spotify and Apple Music in the first half of the year for the first time, according to a new study by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

That amounts to a total of £3.3 billion on entertainment products in the first six months of the year, a 4.5% increase compared with a year earlier.

Kim Bayley, chief executive of the ERA, said breaking the £100 million-a-week barrier was a significant milestone given the first six months of the year is considered the “quiet half” for entertainment sales.

“With January to June historically the quietest half of the year, this is another great result for the entertainment sector,” she said. “Digital services and physical retailers alike continue to innovate to expand the market for music, video and games.”

The biggest contributor to growth in the overall entertainment sector continues to be digital video, which spans services such as Netflix as well as movies and TV shows purchased from services including iTunes and Sky Store, which surged by £130 million compared with last year.

Digital video sales growth of 18% to £854 million more than made up for a plunge of almost a quarter (23%) in DVD sales, which dropped to £215 million. The digital juggernaut fueled an overall 6.4% rise in total video spend to £1.07 billion, according to ERA.

Consumers spent £486 million on music streaming services from Spotify, Apple, Amazon and Deezer in the first half, growth of 26% or about £100 million more than the same period last year. Music streaming drove total recorded music revenues 9.9% to £672 million in the first half.

The amount spent on video games, by far the biggest sector of the combined music, video and games markets, rose by 1% to £1.56bn. The decline in sales of physical copies of games, which fell 8.5% to £185m, was more than made up for by the 2.4% rise in digital gaming spend to £1.3 billion.

Edited from Entertainment Retail Association