Games hit hardest in entertainment slump

Video games face the prospect of slipping back to third place in the UK entertainment race following a report showing that the sector has suffered bigger declines than either video or music in the first half of 2010.

The ERA says that the first six months of the year have seen music sales increase by 1.7 per cent in volume to 64.3m units and 0.4 per cent in value to 522.4m. Video has seen sales value climb by 0.6 per cent to 852.5m despite a 1.4 per cent unit sale drop to 98m units.
Games, however, saw unit sales slump 12.5 per cent at 23.8m and sales value fall by 10.1 per cent to 532.6m.

This places games in third place in unit terms and in second place in the value table, though the lead over music has been slimmed to just over 10m. At the same stage last year games were enjoying a 72m lead over music. Video has also increased its lead over games from 255 in 2009 to 320 this year.

The total value of the UK entertainment market so far this year stands at 1,886.3m – down three per cent on the same period in 2009. Unit sales are down 2.2 per cent at 184.3m units.

Given tough High Street trading and where we are in the video games product cycle, these are creditable results and reflect the hard work and commitment of retailers who know they have to fight for every penny in this tough economic environment,” ERA director general Kim Bayley stated.

While the market overall is tough, in each case we are seeing real growth in those sectors in which we are able to offer new or innovative products.”

In the music sector, CD sales have fallen 9.1 per cent year-on-year but album downloads have increased by 34 per cent. In video, DVD sales are down 7.7 per cent but Blu-ray sales are tracking 81.3 per cent up on H1 2009.

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