Roll Over, Shakespeare! Brits Spend More on Home Entertainment Than Print

British love for the printed word is apparently over.

Consumers spent more on music, streaming video, movies and video games in 2017 than on books, magazines and newspapers, according to new data from the Entertainment Retailers Association. It is the first time revenue from home entertainment exceeded print media.

Key drivers included digital services such as Spotify, Steam, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Deezer, Sky, Apple and Google.

According to research prepared for ERA by the Leisure Industries Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, Britons spent £7.2bn ($9.91 billion) on music, video and games compared to £7.1bn ($9.77 billion) on books, magazines and newspapers.

“It is an extraordinary testament to the appeal and resonance of digital entertainment services that they have helped home entertainment to hit this milestone nearly 550 years since the invention of the printing press,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley said in a statement.

While entertainment sales reached an all-time-high for the third year, spending on print was stagnant and substantially down on its 2007 peak of £8.3bn ($11.4 billion).

The entertainment growth rate (8.8%) exceeded that of virtually every sector monitored by the Leisure Industries Research Centre, including dining (up 7.7%), alcohol (up 6%), foreign travel (up 4.4%) and gambling (up 1%). Total leisure spending was up 5.2%.

“The 2008-2009 recession hurt both the entertainment and reading markets,” said Dr. Themis Kokolakakis with Leisure Industries Research Centre. “Since 2012, the entertainment market has recovered very strongly producing record 2017 results. [Print] media is under pressure, partly because of the growth of streaming services, partly because there is so much competition for people’s time and attention. Entertainment has grown while reading has stagnated.”

Meanwhile, five years ago more than 80% of revenue was generated by buy-to-own formats such as discs or downloads. In 2017, 56% of revenue came from music and streaming video, transactional VOD or subscriptions to online multiplayer games, digital micro-transactions and in-app purchases on mobile devices.

“The success of the entertainment business is a testament to the power of innovation, creating new ways for people to enjoy the music, video and games they love,” Bayley said.

Notable packaged media growth included boxed software for consoles such as the new Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4, which generated their first growth in 10 years – up 5% to £750m ($1 billion); and vinyl albums, with sales up 34% to £87.7m ($120 million).

“Digital services may be grabbing the headlines, but physical retailers continue to identify new opportunities to showcase and drive sales of discs,” said Bayley. “Vinyl is a prime example of retailers nurturing demand for a product most people had long written off. It would be foolish to underestimate the consumers continuing affection for physical product.”

Finally, Ed Sheeran’s album Divide was the best-selling music, video or game title in the UK in 2017, achieving sales of more than 2.7 million units.

In 2017, 33 music, video or game titles sold over half a million units. Of these, 10 sold over 1 million units and three over 2 million. Of the Top 40 biggest sellers, seven were music albums, 10 were videogames and 23 were videos, led by a trio of titles from Walt Disney Studios – Beauty & The BeastRogue One – A Star Wars Story and Moana.

 

ERA Entertainment Chart 2017
Position Category Title Artist Company Units sold
1 Albums Divide Ed Sheeran Warner Music 2,702,839
2 Videogames FIFA 18 Electronic Arts 2,696,721
3 Videogames Call of Duty: WWII Activision Blizzard 2,442,416
4 Video Beauty and The Beast (2017) Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 1,484,565
5 Video Rogue One – A Star Wars Story Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 1,380,402
6 Video Moana Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 1,293,787
7 Video Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Warner Home Video 1,279,850
8 Videogames Grand Theft Auto V Take 2 1,080,022
9 Video Bridget Jones’s Baby Universal Pictures Home Entertainment 1,052,753
10 Albums Human Rag’n’Bone Man Sony Music 1,001,913
11 Video Guardians of The Galaxy – Vol 2 Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 873,825
12 Video Trolls 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 872,586
13 Video Sing Universal Pictures Home Entertainment 805,342
14 Video Dunkirk Warner Home Video 753,429
15 Videogames Assassin’s Creed Origins Ubisoft 679,965
16 Videogames Destiny 2 Activision Blizzard 673,551
17 Videogames Star Wars Battlefront II Electronic Arts 658,814
18 Videogames Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy Activision Blizzard 651,354
19 Video Despicable Me 3 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment 631,748
20 Video Logan 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 614,631
21 Video Doctor Strange Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 612,745
22 Albums Now That’s What I Call Music 96 Various Artists Sony Music/Universal Music 601,906
23 Albums Now That’s What I Call Music 97 Various Artists Sony Music/Universal Music 595,547
24 Video Wonder Woman Warner Home Video 591,316
25 Videogames Tom Clancey’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands UBISOFT 574,889
26 Albums Now That’s What I Call Music 96 Various Artists Sony Music/Universal Music 560,286
27 Video Spider-Man – Homecoming Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 551,227
28 Video Pirates of The Caribbean – Salazars Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 538,735
29 Video The Girl on The Train 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 525,996
30 Video La La Land Elevation Sales 525,342
31 Albums The Thrill of It All Sam Smith Universal Music 501,952
32 Video The Boss Baby 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 501,453
33 Video Fast & Furious 8 Universal Pictures 500,617
34 Video The Lego Batman Movie Warner Home Video 494,446
35 Videogames Gran Turismo: Sport Sony Computer Ent. 484,933
36 Albums Glory Days Little Mix Sony Music 468,173
37 Video Fifty Shades Darker Universal Pictures 466,119
38 Video Hacksaw Ridge Elevation Sales 465,138
39 Videogames Horizon Zero Dawn Sony Computer Ent. 456,374
40 Video War For The Planet Of The Apes 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 435,440

 

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