Entertainment and Media revenues on the global rebound

Entertainment and Media revenues on the global rebound

The shift towards streaming, gaming and user-generated content is transforming the industry, says PWC in Outlook report.

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The global entertainment & media (E&M) industry is regaining its momentum, with revenues outpacing the economy, with the $2+ trillion industry on track to grow 6.5% in 2021 and 6.7% in 2022, fuelled by strong demand for digital content and advertising. 

The renewed growth follows a challenging 2020, when in-person entertainment plummeted, including a 71% decline in movie theatre box office revenues.  These figures come from PwC's Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021-2025, annual analysis and forecast of E&M spending by consumers and advertisers across 53 territories.

Among key highlights:

  • Video streaming surged in 2020 and its growth trajectory will continue. Streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% to 2025, making it an $81.3 billion industry. Meanwhile, cinema revenues are projected to rebound in 2021 as lockdowns ease but will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024.
  • Video game and esports revenues continue their rapid ascent, reaching $147.7 billion in 2020, with a 5.7% CAGR projected to expand the segment to become an almost US$200bn business ($194.4 billion) by 2025.
  • Virtual reality is the fastest-growing E&M segment, albeit from a small base. Its revenues surged by 31.7% in 2020 to $1.8 billion and are projected to sustain a CAGR of 30%+ over the next five years to reach a $6.9 billion business in 2025.
  • Internet access accounted for 34% of E&M spending in 2020 and will increase at a 4.9% CAGR, reaching $880 billion by 2025. Mobile internet access will drive market growth, with revenues rising at a 6.1% CAGR to $605 billion in 2025, underpinned by the spread of 5G, advances in handset technology, and premium content bundles.

Commenting on the findings, Werner Ballhaus, Global Entertainment & Media Industry Leader Partner, PwC Germany, said: "The pandemic slowed the entertainment and media industry last year, but it also accelerated and amplified power shifts that were already transforming the industry. Whether it's box office revenues shifting to streaming platforms, content moving to mobile devices, or the increasingly complex relationships among content creators, producers and distributors, the dynamics and power within the industry continue to shift.

“Our outlook shows that the hunger for content, continued advances in technology and new business models and ways of creating value will drive the industry's growth for the next five years and beyond."

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