Web accounts for 72% of entertainment spend, despite rise in physical stores

ERAThe internet accounted for 71.8% of the UK’s entertainment revenues in 2015 compared with 28.2% for bricks and mortar stores, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

However, the UK trade organisation’s latest research claims that the number of physical stores selling music, video and games has reached an all-time high of more than 14,800.

DVD and Blu-ray discs were available in 14,852 stores in the UK last year, while CD and, or vinyl music releases were available in 14,727, according to the ERA.

“Conventional wisdom has always suggested that the internet spelled the end for physical entertainment stores, but these numbers show that traditional retail still has a place, particularly for impulse purchases and gifts. After all, you can’t gift-wrap a download or a stream,” said ERA CEO Kim Bayley.

“Just as the internet has demonstrated that accessibility and convenience are key to selling entertainment, physical stores are demonstrating that if you put entertainment in front of people, they will buy it.”

Despite this, the ERA said in January that digital revenues from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky Store exceeded £1bn for the first time in 2015. It also said that claims that it is “almost certain” that video will become a majority-digital business in 2016, after digital video revenues grew by 30.3% year-on-year in 2015.