The UK’s ongoing upgrade of its broadband network helped boost the country’s digital economy last year, with downloads of music, TV shows, films and video games rising 11% in 2012 to reach just over GB£ 1.033bn (US$ 1.68).
This is the first time that digital entertainment downloads have passed GB£ 1bn, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), which adds that downloads now account for nearly a quarter of the total entertainment market.
Video gaming remains by far the biggest digital entertainment segment in the UK: sales rose 7.7% in 2012 to reach GB£ 552mn. Digital music sales increased 15% to reach GB£ 383mn, while digital video sales saw the biggest increase, rising 20% annually to hit GB£ 97.9mn.
Physical sales of CDs, DVDs and video games continued to drop last year however, falling almost 18%, with the result that the overall UK home entertainment market declined 12% in 2012 to reach GB£ 4.21bn.
“Breaching the £1bn barrier is an incredible achievement for the UK’s digital entertainment retailers and reflects their huge investment in new and innovative services which means you can buy music, video and games literally at any time of the day and wherever you are,” said Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA.