ERA has published its numbers for digital entertainment revenues in the UK in 2013 with the headline stat being that streaming and access-based services now make up 26% of the market value.
But that needs to be put into context – that quarter share is across all entertainment forms such as movies and TV as well as music and it also, according to ERA’s definition of “access models”, includes in-app purchases for games. If we peel it back we see that online makes up 63.6% of the music sector (£663.8m in value) while physical stores account for 36.4% (£379.2m). Music overall generated over £1bn in revenues, down 0.5% from 2012. ERA lays the blame for this decline on “an exceedingly poor release schedule of UK repertoire” last year.

This decline in music was in contrast to video content’s £2bn (up 3.7%) and videogames’ £2bn (up 6.6%). This gives music a 20% share of the total entertainment market. Physical music formats dropped 7.7% to a value of £542.6m while digital increased by 8.6% to £500.4m.

When digital is split between ownership of and access to music, the ownership model (CDs and downloads) slid 3.2% to a value of £939.9m while access services grew by 33.7% to £103.1m. ERA notes that subscription streaming now makes up 10% of recorded music revenues – generating £103.1m in value, a 33.7% increases from 2012. Digital singles were down 3.3% in unit terms to 181.m while digital albums were up 6.9% to 32.6m units.

The tension between online (including streaming and downloading as well as the online purchase of physical products) and the high street continues to grow, with the former now accounting for 60% of revenues.

“This is stark evidence of the revolution in entertainment consumption being driven by entertainment retailers,” said Kim Bailey, ERA’s DG, in a statement on the publication of the figures. “The fact that 60p in the entertainment pound is now spent online and 26p in the pound is for access to content rather than ownership is a testament to the huge investment and technological ingenuity of retailers in providing consumers with new ways to enjoy the music, video and games they love.”

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