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UK entertainment revenue outstrips print for first time

People in the UK spent more money on music, video and games in 2017 than on books, magazines and newspapers, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

The UK trade organisation’s latest research claims that last year was the first time in history that revenues from entertainment exceeded those of the printed word, with services like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify a “key driver” in the growth of digital services.

The study states that Britons spent £7.2 billion on music, video and games in 2017, marking an all-time high for entertainment sales for the third successive year.

By comparison, sales of books, magazines and newspapers stood at £7.1 billion, a figure the ERA described as “stagnant” and substantially down from print’s peak of £8.3 billion in 2007.

“It is an extraordinary testament to the appeal and resonance of digital entertainment services that they have helped home entertainment to hit this milestone nearly 550 years since the invention of the printing press,” said ERA CEO Kim Bayley.

“The success of the UK entertainment market is ultimately the result of collaboration between the creatives, studios and labels who produce compelling content and the retailers and services who bring it to the public.”

The research was prepared for the ERA by Sheffield Hallam University’s Leisure Industries Research Centre.

Themis Kokolakakis from the Leisure Industries Research Centre said: “Since 2012, the entertainment market has recovered very strongly producing record 2017 results.

“Traditional media is under pressure, partly because of the growth of streaming services, partly because there is so much competition for people’s time and attention. Entertainment has grown while reading has stagnated.”