British music fans spent more than £1bn on streaming services for the first time in 2019 as customers flocked to the likes of Spotify and Apple Music to hear their favourite artists.
Music Streaming Revenues Top £1bn In The UK In 2019
The total was 24pc higher than 2018, and double the amount spent on downloads or physical products such as CDs and vinyl, the Entertainment Retail Association (ERA) said.
Spending on downloads fell 27pc to £90m, and physical purchases dropped by 17pc to £318m.
A string of streaming records was broken in 2019, with Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings racking up an unprecedented 16.9 million UK plays in a single week in January. This benchmark was then beaten again by Wham! track Last Christmas, with 17.1 million plays over Christmas week.
The market’s success was powered by albums including Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent. Streamed more than one billion times worldwide since its release in May, it has contributed to the relentless march of music streaming worldwide, as shown in this chart.
ERA chief executive Kim Bayley said the rise of online entertainment has created the biggest revolution in UK leisure habits in history, with more than 80pc of entertainment spending now going on digital services.
Out of all entertainment industries tracked by the ERA, video enjoyed the biggest rise last year as more consumers signed up to Netflix and Amazon Prime and downloaded content from Apple and Sky Store.
Digital video sales were up 21.5pc to £2.1bn in 2019, propping up total consumer spend on video for the year. While physical sales of video content slipped 23pc, total UK spending on films and TV rose almost a tenth to £2.6bn.
Marvel’s Avengers Endgame and Bohemian Rhapsody were the two best-selling videos of 2019.
Games remain the most popular home entertainment category, despite a slight dip to just under £3.8bn.
The entire entertainment market is worth almost £7.8bn.
More media companies have been pushing into video streaming over the past year, with both Apple and Disney having launched their own offerings in November. Disney pulled much of its content off Netflix after launching its service.
The BBC and ITV also sought to take a bite of the streaming market with BritBox, which offers box sets of shows aired on the two broadcasters.
BritBox said classic Doctor Who episodes were the most streamed over the festive period, 20 times more popular than the next most-watched series.
Source: The Telegraph
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