Gaming crowned king of UK entertainment
According to new data from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), the video gaming sector represents just over half (51.3%) of the entire UK entertainment industry, and is worth more than music and video combined.
The study shows that the games market rose to £3.86bn in 2018, up 9.1% from last year with music and video reaching £1.33bn and £2.33bn, respectively.
Gaming profited from a host of new services such as direct to console downloads, mobile and social gaming, allowing digital to expand by 12.5%, whilst physical consoles and PC games shrunk by -2.28% in 2018.
The success of the sector is primarily down to three games: FIFA 19, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 selling 1.88m, 1.75m and 1.17m physical units, respectively.
"The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment," said Kim Bayley, ERA CEO.
"Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest."
Meanwhile, music registered its fourth consecutive year of growth in 2018, generated by streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music which grew by 37.7% to £829.1m.
Unsurprisingly, downloads from Amazon and Apple and streaming services such as Netflix, NOW TV and Amazon Prime also drove digital video sales up by 26% in 2018 to £1.68bn, representing more than double physical retail and rental sales combined.