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Covid-19 sparked ‘boom’ in paid subscriptions in UK says ERA


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How Britain entertained itself during lockdown‘ is the title of the latest press release from UK body the Entertainment Retailers Association (Era). Surprisingly, the answer isn’t ‘doomscrolling Twitter in tears and making forts from panic-bought toilet rolls and flour’.

Era is understandably more focused on music, TV and gaming habits, and a “boom in sales of subscriptions”. In its latest tracking study, which began on 25 May, Era asked people which subscription services they had added since the start of lockdown.

Video hogs the chart: 10.5% of respondents had signed up to Disney+, and 8.4% to Netflix. But music makes an appearance too: 5.6% of people had added Amazon Prime (admittedly with free shipping and Prime Video the draws alongside Prime Music) while 4.2% had started subscribing to Spotify, 1.4% to YouTube Music and 1.2% to Amazon Music Unlimited.

The good news: 93.3% of people adding the last of those said they’re likely or very likely to keep paying once lockdown ends. The comparable percentages for the others are 76.4% for Spotify and 72.2% for YouTube Music.

There’s some bad news on the live music front though: 53.9% of respondents said they went to concerts before Covid-19, but only 23.6% say they’re likely to post-lockdown. For festivals, the percentages were 36.7% and 11.7% respectively. In the UK, as elsewhere, building confidence back again will be an important challenge.

Stuart Dredge

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