ENTERTAINMENT TARGETS £10BN IN UK SALES IN 2022 AS 2021 PRODUCES NINTH SUCCESSIVE YEAR OF GROWTH

Video revenues increased 13.3% in 2021 thanks to streaming. Physical music sales grow for the first time in 20 years. Games market has doubled in size in a decade.

6 January 2022 - The UK music, video and games markets could break the £10bn sales barrier this year with revenues up nearly a quarter since 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, according to preliminary figures from ERA, the trade body for UK digital services and retailers of music, video and games.

Preliminary 2021 figures released today show the music, video and games markets generated another all-time-record sales total of £9,716.1m, its ninth successive year of growth.

Contrary to fears that 2020’s lockdown boom in streaming was a one-off, digital streams and sales continued to grow through 2021 with music revenues up another 8.7% and video up 13.3%. Only games faltered with sales down 3.3%, but that was still nearly 14% more than in 2019, the last full year before Covid-19 struck.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, “The entire sector was braced for revenues to settle down in 2021 after 2020 grew an astonishing 18.7%, but growth continued – for the ninth successive year. Strikingly this growth is increasingly independent of new release activity; the vast majority of this growth being driven by digital services making entertainment more accessible and convenient than ever before. If we can repeat this success in 2022, the UK entertainment market will exceed £10bn for the first time.”

 

HOW THE UK'S ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR POWERED THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

CONSUMER SPEND  £ MILLIONS

 

2019

2020

2021

% change 2021 versus 2020

% change 2021 versus  2019

Music

Physical

£318.1

£271.6

£291.5

7.3

-8.4

 

Downloads

£89.7

£72.2

£55.0

-23.8

-38.7

 

Streaming

£1,045.8

£1,199.8

£1,330.7

10.9

27.2

 

Total Music

£1,453.7

£1,543.6

£1,677.3

8.7

15.4

 

         

 

Video

Physical Retail

£477.2

£355.7

£236.2

-33.6

-50.5

 

Physical Rental

£23.4

£16.2

£12.1

-25.3

-48.3

 

Digital

£2,110.0

£2,939.8

£3,504.0

19.2

66.1

 

Total Video

£2,610.6

£3,311.7

£3,752.3

13.3

43.7

 

         

 

Games

Physical

£602.5

£645.7

£511.5

-20.8

-15.1

 

Digital

£3,162.1

£3,789.3

£3,775.0

-0.4

19.4

 

Total Games

£3,764.6

£4,434.9

£4,286.5

-3.3

13.9

 

         

 

Total Entertainment

Physical

£1,421.2

£1,289.2

£1,051.3

-18.5

-26.0

 

Digital (inc streaming)

£6,407.6

£8,001.0

£8,664.8

8.3

35.2

 

Total Entertainment

£7,828.9

£9,290.2

£9,716.1

4.6

24.1

Source: ERA, compiled from actual sales data where available and industry-standard estimates where not. Detailed sourcing under each of the three-sector tables below.

Nearly 90 pence in every pound spent on music, video and games is now online. Total digital revenues grew by 8.3% in 2021 to £8.66bn, more than the entire entertainment market was worth just two years ago. Overall physical revenues declined 18.5% in 2021, but there was one notable exception: physical revenues in music grew by 7.3%, their first growth since 2001, driven by the continuing boom in sales of vinyl, up 23.2% to £135.6m.

Added Bayley, “The return of physical music sales to growth a full two decades since they started to decline is nothing short of a miracle. It is a testament more than anything to the doggedness and resilience of physical retailers, led by the indies, who have driven the vinyl revival in the face of some initial scepticism.”

 

ENTERTAINMENT BY SECTOR

 

Music

Music’s growth was once again driven by subscription streaming services from the likes of Spotify, Amazon, Apple and YouTube Music which reached £1,331m in 2021 – more than the entire value of UK recorded music sales as recently as 2018.

With around 70 pence in the pound paid by streaming services to the music industry, this means the services delivered around £900m to record companies and music publishers.

Subscription streaming grew in value by 10.9% in 2021, but the comeback story of the decade continued with vinyl growing more than twice as fast – up 23.2% - to reach £135.6m.

Music benefited from arguably the strongest release schedule of ERA’s three sectors in 2021, with new release albums from Adele, Ed Sheeran and ABBA. Notably Sheeran and Abba both had two albums in the year-end Top 20 – as did Fleetwood Mac, as the combination of vinyl and streaming levelled the playing field for classic repertoire.

In the track market, seven titles generated the equivalent of more than one million sales, led by Ed Sheeran’s ‘Bad Habits’ at 1.72m.

Said ERA’s Kim Bayley, “New releases undoubtedly increase the engagement of music fans with streaming services and in 2021 the music industry delivered several blockbusters. What is increasingly clear, however, is that the biggest driver of revenue is the innovation and investment of the services themselves.”

CONSUMER SPEND  £ MILLIONS

2019

2020

2021

2021 versus 2020 (% growth)

2021 versus 2019 (% growth)

Subscription Streaming

£1,045.8

£1,199.8

£1,330.7

10.9

27.2

CD Albums

£217.0

£156.2

£150.1

-3.9

-30.8

Vinyl Albums

£97.1

£110.1

£135.6

23.2

39.6

Album downloads

£53.2

£43.5

£33.4

-23.2

-37.3

Track downloads

£36.5

£28.7

£21.6

-24.6

-40.7

Physical Singles

£2.9

£3.5

£3.8

8.3

31.6

Other Physical Albums

£1.1

£1.9

£2.0

9.6

78.8

Total

£1,453.7

£1,543.6

£1,677.3

8.7

15.4

Source: Physical and digital sales – The Official Charts Company; Subscription streaming – ERA/BPI estimates.

 

Video

Further confirmation of the streaming revolution in video comes in 2021 numbers showing UK revenues driven by services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and NowTV increased by 28.2% to £3,168m.

The video streaming market in the UK has more than tripled in size since 2017 as more services launch and more users adopt them.

While video streaming increasingly generates its own hits – such as Netflix’s runaway 2021 success Squid Game – the ownership market of discs and downloads is heavily dependent upon theatrical success. The forced closure of cinemas during the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent delays in releases continued to hit this part of video business hard during 2021.

It meant that with the notable exception of the year’s biggest-seller, the latest James Bond epic No Time To Die – which sold more than three times as many copies as second-placed Peter Rabbit 2 – the physical disc and download-to-own businesses suffered significantly.

DVD, in particular, took a dramatic dive with revenues down 39.5% on 2020.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, “Crises tend to amplify existing trends and the coronavirus pandemic has clearly been a significant factor in the explosive growth of video streaming and precipitous decline of disc sales. On the positive side, however, the reopening of cinemas and the significant backlog of Hollywood blockbusters means we can expect renewed growth in ownership formats in 2022.”

CONSUMER SPEND  £ MILLIONS

2019

2020

2021

2021 versus 2020 (% growth)

2021 versus 2019 (% growth)

Streaming Video On Demand

£1,714.3

£2,471.6

£3,167.7

28.2

84.8

Other Digital (inc EST and VOD)

£395.7

£468.2

£336.3

-28.2

-15.0

DVD

£350.2

£248.9

£150.5

-39.5

-57.0

Blu-Ray

£127.0

£106.7

£85.7

-19.7

-32.5

Physical Rental

£23.4

£16.2

£12.1

-25.3

-48.3

 Total

£2,610.6

£3,311.7

£3,752.3

13.3

43.7

Source: Physical retail sales – The Official Charts Company; Physical rental – Estimates provided by Omdia; Transactional digital video including EST (Electronic Sell-Through) Movies & TV, iVoD (online digital rental) and CVoD/Pay-TV VoD (digital rental via Pay-TV providers to a STB), SVoD (Subscription video on demand), Online subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Disney  and an allocation of Amazon Prime revenue. Now TV movies, entertainment & kids also included, but sports excluded). PVoD excluded – Provisional estimates from Futuresource Consulting.

 

 

Games

Games has been the dominant player in the entertainment sector for the past decade but in 2021, it suffered a slight reverse, down 3.3% to £4,286m, although that was still nearly 14% more than in 2019, the last full year before the Covid-19 lockdown delivered 2020’s dramatic 17.8% uptick.

To put it in context games is more than twice as large in revenue terms as music.

A key factor in that 2021 performance is likely to have been continuing supply problems with the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles due to the worldwide semiconductor shortage.

After the all-times sales record set in 2020, there were declines in six of the seven games sectors monitored below – the exception was Mobile and Tablet games, which increased revenues by 8.1% and is now more than three times the size of the traditional physical console software market.

The best-selling game yet again was the latest edition of football title FIFA. The new FIFA 22 sold 917,000 units on physical alone with an additional 1.3m digital units taking it to more than 2.2m in total.

Said Kim Bayley, “The UK games market is more than double the size it was 10 years ago, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% which is extraordinary by any standards. The strong growth in mobile gaming can only benefit the market long-term. Despite the slight reverse in 2021, we can be confident that the games business will continue to prosper.”

 

CONSUMER SPEND  £ MILLIONS

2019  

2020

2021

2021 versus 2020 (% growth)

 2021 versus 2019 (% growth)

Mobile / Tablet games

£1,192.1  

£1,427.8

£1,543.1

8.1

29.4

Other Digital

£1,311.4  

£1,519.3

£1,467.9

-3.4

11.9

Digital console games

£455.8  

£598.7

£549.0

-8.3

20.4

Physical console software

£592.7  

£638.5

£508.4

-20.4

-14.2

Digital PC games

£202.8  

£243.5

£214.9

-11.7

6.0

Physical PC software

£3.9  

£4.5

£2.1

-52.1

-45.2

Physical handheld software

£5.9  

£2.7

£0.9

-66.6

-84.4

Total

£3,764.6  

£4,434.9

£4,286.5

-3.3

13.9

 

 

Source: Physical – GfK Entertainment; Digital (including digital online, mobile and tablet gaming)- Provisional estimates from Omdia.

 

ENDS

For further information, please contact Steve Redmond – steve@eraltd.org

About ERA

ERA is the trade body representing digital services and retailers offering music, video and games. Our members include digital services such as Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud, Amazon, Sky, Deezer and Virgin Media, together with physical retailers including HMV, Game, Tesco, Asda and Argos and hundreds of independent record shops. 

ERA’s members have been a driving force in using technology to transform the entertainment business and return it to growth, with around 90% of revenues now generated online. At the same time our physical retail members have driven the revival of vinyl records, now in their 14th consecutive year of growth.

Working closely with sister organisations representing music, video and games companies, ERA is a strong proponent of open markets, open standards and consumer choice.

Our members supply the sales data which powers the Official Charts in music and video and GfK Chart-Track ​and GSD in games. Together with record companies trade association the BPI, we own the Official Charts Company. 

ERA provides the organisational force behind Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent record stores which has become the most successful new music industry promotion of the past two decades, and also runs - in partnership with the BPI ​– National Album Day and The Record Club.

 

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