Why spending on home entertainment hit an all-time high in 2016

One trend has turned the industry around...

New figures show that music, video and games markets achieved new all-time record sales of £6.3bn (€7.4bn) in the UK during 2016, up 3% on the previous year.

That's over £1bn more than the amount spent as recently as 2012 according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

FIFA 17 was the biggest selling video game in the UK

The big picture indicates that as streaming becomes the new norm, people are spending more on home entertainment.

This could be due to the fact that new options like Netflix and Spotify offer a safe and user-friendly alternative to streaming and downloading through illegal pirate sites.

PA

Income from paid-subscription TV and film streaming services and downloads passed DVD and Blu-ray for the first time in the UK during 2016.

Revenues gained from these platforms rose to £1.3bn last year - while physical sales dipped to £894m. That's the first time they amounted to less than £1bn - and a 16.9% drop-off compared to 2015 sales according to the figures.

While DVD's maintain a cult-following - and physical retailers will continue to sell box-sets at Christmas - the tide as firmly turned as streaming and downloads become the default option for consumers. Digital services account for 57% of music revenues and 74% of the British games market.

However, ERA notes that "some physical formats continue to flourish. Sales of handheld games software grew 21.3% to £48.8m, while vinyl records continued their sustained revival, up 56.4% to £65.6m."

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, "The music, video and games industries were understandably nervous about the advent of new digital services, but these figures provide resounding evidence of the benefits of our members’ investment in innovation.

"To have added over £1bn in new revenues in just four years is an incredible achievement. To put it another way, take away today’s digital services and the entertainment market would be barely a third the size it is today."

The biggest-selling film on DVD and Blu-ray of the year was Star Wars: The Force Awakens with sales of 2.3m units - Now That’s What I Call Music 95 was the highest selling CD - and FIFA 17 was Britain's favourite video game.

Golden Discs' managing director Stephen Fitzgerald recently discussed Ireland's home entertainment market with Newstalk