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Business News (more headlines) 01-13-2018

Streaming Boom Powers Entertainment Market To New All-Time-High Of £7.24Bn In 2017

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The entertainment market reached a new all-time-high of £7.24bn in 2017, with the 8.8% sales growth in the combined music, video and games sectors outpacing growth in the wider UK economy by a factor of more than four, according to interim data compiled by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

The results mark the fifth successive year of growth for the UK entertainment market, driven by a raft of successful new digital services from the likes of Spotify, Steam, Netflix, Amazon, Deezer, Sky, Apple and Google. Digital services captured 71.9% of entertainment sales value in 2017, according to ERA figures.

Yet the statistics also provide strong evidence of the continuing appeal of physical formats with sales of vinyl albums growing by more than a third compared with 2016 and a welcome 5% increase in physical console games software.

Entertainment's 8.8% growth rate in 2017 was more than four times that of the wider UK economy. According to latest UK Government statistics, UK GDP grew by 1.9% in the first three quarters of 2017 compared with the same period of 2016.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, "This is an historic result which demonstrates the benefits of innovation and investment in new technology. New digital services are bringing ever increasing numbers of the UK population back to entertainment with 24/7 access to the music, video and games they want. In the past the growth of the market tended to be dependent on the release schedules of games publishers, film studios and record labels. Now we are seeing a market which is also driven by digital platforms and technologies."

Music: The subscription success story
* Music revenues grew by 9.6% in 2017, almost twice 2016's growth rate (4.6%);
* The key factor was the growth of paid subscription services from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Deezer where revenues grew 41.9% to £577.1m – the first time they have exceeded half-a-billion pounds;
* Vinyl continued its decade-long recovery, up 33.7% to £87.7m.

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