By Daniel Hunter

Digital sales of music, video and games exceeded £1 billion for the first time in 2012, according to official year-end figures released today by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

With a final year-end tally of £1.033bn, digital sales of music, video and games grew by 11.4% over 2011 to account for a quarter of the combined entertainment market. Disc sales of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and videogames still account for just over three quarters of the entertainment market, despite falling by 17.6% compared with 2011.

"Breaching the £1bn barrier is an incredible achievement for the UK's digital entertainment retailers and reflects their huge investment in new and innovative services which means you can buy music, video and games literally at any time of the day and wherever you are," ERA Director General Kim Bayley said.

"At the same time I suspect that many people will be surprised to learn just how resilient the physical business still is - with three quarters of entertainment sales still on disc. Downloads offer convenience and portability, but people still seem to value the quality and tangibility of a physical product."

The ERA statistics combine data from three leading sources:

- Official Charts Company data on actual sales of music and video (physical) and music (digital);
- GfK Chart-Track data on actual sales of videogames on physical formats;
- IHS Screen Digest estimates of digital sales of video and videogames.

Digital entertainment's big year

Digital sales of music, video and games grew in total by 11.4% in 2012 to reach a new record of £1.033bn. The biggest digital sector by far remains videogames - mainly comprising Massive Multiplayer Online Games, Social gaming and online console transactions - which at £552.2m was worth more than digital sales of music and video combined.

Video showed most growth at 20.3%, but this reflects the relatively undeveloped nature of the market. Music's digital growth of 15.1% was particularly impressive given that it is the most established of the three digital markets.

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