Entertainment retail sales broke records in 2020 topping £9 billion


Entertainment sales smashed records throughout 2020 as locked down Britain turned to music, video and games to entertain themselves.

According to the latest figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) entertainment revenues jumped 16.8 per cent to a record £9.05 billion throughout 2020, marking the fourth fastest growth rate since records began.

Digital services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and the relatively new Disney+ spearheaded this massive growth, seeing revenues rise 37.7 per cent (£1.4 billion) to a new high of £7.8 billion compared to 2019.

Streaming, digital rental and downloads now accounted for more than 80 per cent all video sales, while sales of physical video formats dropped 25 per cent to £355.7 million.

Despite video’s growth, gaming comfortably retained its lead as the biggest sector seeing sales top £4.2 billion for the first time, marking a rise of 14.5 per cent compared to 2019.

READ MORE: PS5 and Xbox Series shortages lead to 10% drop in video game sales

While digital games were once again the leader, seeing 16.3 per cent year-on-year growth to £3.6 billion, physical games enjoyed a return to growth increasing 4.6 per cent to £598.5 million.

Music also saw growth of 6.8 per cent to £1.55 billion, marking its highest total since 2006.

Streaming revenues from services like Spotify, Amazon, Deezer and YouTube grew 15.5 per cent to £1.21 billion, more than the entire music market was worth in 2016.

While vinyl sales continued their strong revival with sales jumping 13.3 per cent to £110 million, downloads suffered dropping 19.5 per cent to £72.2 million.

“If there was ever a year in which we needed entertainment, it was 2020,” ERA chief executive Kim Bayley said.

“The trend towards an increasingly digital entertainment market may be long established, but no one could have foreseen this dramatic leap as digital services filled the gap left by shuttered cinemas, concert halls and retail stores.

“With much of the country shut down, ERA’s members provided a welcome revenue stream for thousands of musicians, actors, directors and countless backroom staff.”

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