The Entertainment Retailers Association released preliminary figures on the 2014 sales of video games, music and video. When looking at the combined 3 entertainment sectors, total sales grew for the second successive year: by +2.2% versus 2013, to reach a total of £5.7bn in 2014. The growth was driven by digital, with a +18% growth, while physical decreased by -10%. While physical entertainment products sales covered 57% of total sales in 2013, they are now on par with digital sales (50% each). The ERA doesn’t see this shift as a battle between physical and digital, but rather as the evolution into a multi-channel economy, where streaming, digital and physical formats satisfy different consumer needs and can prosper in parallel.
Specifically for games, even though last year the digital component was already bigger than the physical one (£1bn in physical versus £1.3bn in digital), the gap has widened in 2014 with physical decreasing by -7% and digital growing by +19%, to reach £0.9bn in physical sales and £1.5bn in digital ones, for a total games software market of £2.5bn.
The games market grew by +7.5% in 2014, compared to decreasing video and music markets (-1.4% and -1.6% respectively). At £2.5bn, it now represents 43% of the total entertainment market (it was 41% in 2013). The digital component of games (£1.5bn) is bigger than the digital components of video and music combined (£1.3bn), testament to our industry being at the forefront of new technologies.
When looking at entertainment’s greatest hits of 2014, in terms of physical units sold, Frozen the movie ranked first place with 4m units sold, followed by two games: FIFA 15 (2.7m units) and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (1.8m units). 5 games made it into the Top 20 entertainment products of 2014 (for music albums, the Top 20 was also accounting digital downloads).
In terms of data sources for games, ERA used GfK Chart-Track for physical and IHS Technology for digital figures. More information can be found on the ERA website HERE.