Digital services have helped the music, videos and games markets achieve record sales of £6.3bn in 2016, according to new data.
Preliminary figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) indicate that investment from services such as Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music have helped fuel the rise.
The jump represents a three percent increase on last year’s sales figures, and puts 2016 sales £1bn ahead of 2012 figures.
Digital services now account for 57 percent of music revenues and 74 percent of the games market.
For the first time in 2016, the video market became a majority (58 percent) digital business, with revenues from downloads and subscription services now exceeding those of DVD and Blu-ray discs.
Kim Bayley, ERA chief executive, said: ‘The music, video and games industries were understandably nervous about the advent of new digital services, but these figures provide resounding evidence of the benefits of our members’ investment in innovation.
‘To have added over £1bn in new revenues in just four years is an incredible achievement. To put it another way, take away today’s digital services and the entertainment market would be barely a third the size it is today.’
The figures found that, overall, sales of physical formats of music, video and games declined by 15 percent in aggregate in 2016, but some formats continue to flourish.
Vinyl records continued their sustained revival, up 56.4 percent on 2015 to £65.6m, while sales of handheld games software grew 21.3 percent to £48.8m.
Bayley added: ‘Physical entertainment retailing is clearly off its peak, but it is still a £2.2bn market. The growth of vinyl in particular shows that physical formats can flourish if they offer distinctive benefits.
‘The strength of the DVD and CD formats over the Christmas period shows that physical still dominates when it comes to gifting, for instance.’
ERA’s market figures provide a definitive overview of the UK entertainment market, aggregating data from respected market analysts including the Official Charts Company, GfK and IHS.
Preliminary numbers will be updated and confirmed with the publication of the ERA Yearbook in March 2017.