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Video Games Outsold Music and Film in the UK for the 11th Time

The last three years has been smooth sailing for the video games industry (at least in the UK)

The video games industry continues to soar and has once again outsold both the music and film industries in the UK for the 11th time in a row.

According to report from the UK trade body, Digital Entertainment and Retail Association (ERA), video games accounted for 42.1 per cent of the overall entertainment revenue in 2022 by earning a staggering £4.6 billion.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley commented, “Gaming remains the often-unheralded leader of the entertainment market. While growth at 2.3 per cent was lower than that of video or music, its scale is enormous and in terms of innovation and excitement it continues to set the pace for the entire entertainment sector.”

The report also accounted for the sale of physical software, mobile games, digital console downloads as well as “a variety of other subscription and token-based playing mechanisms”.

The ERA’s report also indicates that physical games software sales decreased by 4.5 per cent in 2022, making up for a mere 10 per cent of the overall sector. Console downloads, on the other hand, increased by 12.2 per cent, earning a hefty £724 million.

For film, the ERA’s data shows that the industry’s revenue grew more than 14 per cent last year, which was mostly due to streaming. The data also shows that subscription video on demand also grew by 17.6 per cent compared to 2021. It now accounts for 87 per cent of the video market after earning a massive £3.9 billion.

Bayley added, “Video has faced the double whammy of a dearth of new releases caused by the Covid lockdown on top of the structural change from physical to digital, but 2022 saw the sector at another all-time high and well-ahead of its 2008 physical peak of £2.8billion. The success of Top Gun: Maverick and second-placed Spiderman: No Way Home shows the centrality of new releases to drive excitement in the video market.”

As for the music industry, it recorded a total revenue increase of 3 per cent to nearly £2 billion which led to a 5 per cent rise in revenue, earning the industry £1.6 billion in 2022.

The ERA’s report touched on the fact that all three of these behemoth industries have managed to flourish in the past three years despite the effects of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the UK’s uncertain economic situation.

ERA chairman Ben Drury said, “Despite pandemic, political uncertainty and recession, entertainment has continued to soar. Adding that a “growth of nearly 40% since 2019 is extraordinary. Few would have believed we would retain the huge bounce in revenues seen when the Covid lockdown kept people at home, but these numbers show that even amid recession, people are determined to maintain their spending on entertainment.”

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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