Digital sales figures have topped £1 billion for the first time, as 2012 saw more consumers than ever downloading physical form free music, movies and games.
The new annual digital sales record, which saw the £1bn sales milestone surpassed for the first time, marked an 11.4 per cent year-on-year increase over 2011 and means that more than a quarter of the entertainment industry is now made up of digital content downloads.
Although digital sales are on the rise, latest reports have suggested that the new figures will not make up for continued decreases in physical sales with CDs, DVD, Blu-rays and physical gaming titles all suffering heavy reductions in units sold during the past 12 months.
Despite accounting for the lowest sales figures in terms of money spent at £98m, digital movie sales formed the highest growing sector in 2012 with a 20.3 per cent year-on-year rise in downloads. Whilst digital music downloads saw a 15.1 per cent rise to account for £383m of digital sales, the digital gaming market showed the least growth at 7.7 per cent despite being responsible for £552m of sales.
“On the surface, it's been another buoyant year for the entertainment industry,” BBC Technology reporter, Dave Lee said. “But in truth, the entertainment industry still has a huge battle on its hands. By far the biggest slice of its income is via physical sales - and these continue to decline.”
He added: “In its quest for new revenue models, the music industry's move to offering its artists' material on streaming services - such as Spotify - has been a popular one, with 3.7 billion streams by British fans in 2012.
“But revenue from these services is miniscule when compared to actual sales, leaving the entertainment industry looking over its shoulder - more so in 2013 than ever before.”
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