The UK entertainment industry breached £6.1bn in revenue in 2015 as sales of music, video and games embraced digital distribution and streaming to make up for the stagnation of physical sales.
Figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) claim that the revenue was the highest generated before the crash of physical media sales, the rise of piracy and the infancy of digital platforms which saw record sales of £6.04bn in 2004 shrink to £5.2bn in 2012.
Video revenue was up 1.5 per cent with music recording up 3.5 per cent and games increasing by ten per cent. Furthermore, music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Amazon Prime Music increased sales by nearly 50 per cent to £251m.
Video streaming specialists Netflix and Amazon Prime and Sky Store exceeded £1bn for the first time ever.
Video games sales generated £1.9bn - higher than the joint £1.26bn raised by music and video - largely boosted by a growing mobile sector.
Kim Bayley, chief executive of the ERA, said: "Ten years ago the entertainment business was on the edge of a precipice. Piracy was rampant and there were few legal alternatives.
“Thanks to huge investments by the likes of Apple and Steam and Netflix and Spotify, there has been a significant turnaround.”
She concluded: “From indie record stores to video on demand, from High Street chains to streaming services, internet retail and supermarkets, there has never been such a wide variety of ways for people to get the music, video and games they want."
Physical sales fell in each sector. Music decreased by 0.5 per cent and downloads were down 13.2 per cent as streaming became the dominant distribution channel.
Video sales were down 14.9 per cent and rental dropped 28.3 per cent.
Physical games revenue slumped 2.2 per cent.
In entertainment sales, Adele’s 25 shifted most units (2.6m), followed by Fifa 16 (2,5m) and Call of Duty: Black Ops III (1.9m). More below.