Most entertainment is consumed online through access services and is not owned outright

Imran Khan
Streaming services made up 51.3 per cent of entertainment expenditure (Source: Getty)

Britons now spend almost 80 per cent of their total expenditure on entertainment online and are increasingly consuming it via access services such as Spotify and mobile apps like Pokemon Go.

Data from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), which represents retailers and digital services offering music, video and games, shows that 27.6 per cent of revenues spent on music is in stores, compared to a total online-derived spend of 72.4 per cent.

ERA also found that significantly higher spending on video and games derived from online sources rather than in stores. Some 26.9 per cent purchased videos in stores, compared to 73.1 per cent online. For games’ purchases, only 16.8 per cent of revenues come from stores, compared to 83.2 per cent online buying.

In 2016 online and mobile-generated digital and home delivery entertainment revenues accounted for 77.7 per cent of the £6.32bn spent on music, video and games, with physical stores accounting for just 22.3 per cent.

Spending on entertainment overall posted its fourth successive year of growth in 2016, scoring its best year-on-year performance since 2000 to reach sales of £6,317.8m, up 3 per cent on 2015. Games now accounts for nearly half of the entertainment market (46.8 per cent), its highest share ever

Additionally, ERA’s data indicates that for the first time in 2016, Britons spent more on accessing entertainment via subscription services from Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, Sky and Apple Music and mobile apps like Pokemon Go than they did buying it permanently on disc or download.

Access services made up 51.3 per cent of entertainment expenditure in 2016 with 48.7 per cent spent on discs and downloads.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said: “We are seeing the rise of a pay monthly generation in entertainment.

“Rather than buying music, video or games outright, the British public is being won over by rental or all-you-can eat services which are available 24/7. If downloads represented the first digital revolution in entertainment, we are now at digital 2.0, the subscription age,” she said.

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