Music was the fastest-growing sector in entertainment retail in the first half of 2019, according to the latest figures released by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
While games accounted for the biggest unit value, £1.56bn over the six month period, it increased by only 1% on last year, while music went up by 9.9% to hit £672.7m. The increase was driven by another increase in streaming subscriptions, with consumers spending £485.9m on services, up 25.8% on the same period last year.
While the biggest selling album of the first six months of 2019 was the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman which generated sales of 380,000 units (in addition to the 1.62m it sold as biggest seller of 2018), music also helped boost video sales by 6.4%, with Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody leading the way in the first six months of 2019, with sales of 1.45m. The video sector recorded revenues of £1.07bn. With 361,312 units sold, Grand Theft Auto V was the biggest selling video game of 2019 so far, just ahead of FIFA 19 (360,588).
The entire entertainment sector grew 4.5% year-on-year and is now worth £3.3bn.
“With January-June historically the quietest half of the year, this is another great result for entertainment," suggested ERA CEO Kim Bayley. "Digital services and physical retailers alike continue to innovate to expand the market for music, video and games.”
According to ERA's statistics, UK consumers are currently spending more than £100m a week on digital music, video and games.
Earlier this year ERA revealed that revenue from music streaming subscriptions had overtaken sales, although the biggest hits still rely on physical sales.
By Paul Stokes