U.K. Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), today reported that digital sales of music, video and games grew 11.4% in 2012 and exceeded £1 billion for the first time.
The final year-end tally for digital sales of music, video and games stands at £1.033 billion (about $1.6 billion) accounting for a quarter of the combined entertainment market in the United Kingdom. Physical sales of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and videogames still account for just over three quarters of the market, despite falling by 17.6% year-on-year, according to the ERA.
In a breakdown of the digital entertainment market, ERA (utilizing Official Charts Company sales figures) reported that digital music sales totaled £383 million in 2012 (not taking into account revenues from streaming services), up from £333 million the previous year.
"Breaching the £1 billion barrier is an incredible achievement for the U.K.'s digital entertainment retailers and reflects their huge investment in new and innovative services," said ERA director General Kim Bayley in a statement. Commenting on the resilience of the physical market for entertainment product, Bayley added: "Downloads offer convenience and portability, but people still seem to value the quality and tangibility of a physical product."
Despite the strong growth in digital, total combined sales of music, DVD and videogames fell 12% to £4.21 billion in 2012, down from £4.79 billion the previous year. U.K. music sales amounted to £1.01 billion, compared to £1.07 billion in 2011.