Study: Global Entertainment Industry Poised to Top $2 Trillion in 2016

Services like Netflix and Hulu will help keep the U.S. as the biggest entertainment market in the world for the foreseeable future, says PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Despite headlines extolling the booming entertainment and media markets of China, Brazil, India and other parts of the world, the U.S. will continue to dominate for years to come, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which released portions of its 2013-2017 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook on Tuesday.

The U.S. entertainment and media market generated $479.23 billion in 2012, representing 29.2 percent of the worldwide revenue of nearly $1.639 trillion. In 2017, the U.S. is expected to account for $632.09 billion, or 29.4 percent of the worldwide total of more than $2.152 trillion, according to the report.

Even in the film industry category, where the hype around China is loudest, the North American market -- which includes the U.S., Canada and Mexico -- will dominate through 2017. Globally, PwC expects a milestone in the filmed-entertainment sector in 2016, when it busts through the $100 billion barrier for the first time in history.

“The U.S. remains the largest, most valuable territory in the world for all filmed entertainment,” PwC concludes. The professional services firm says the sector will grow 3.4 percent annually in the U.S. from $31.04 billion in 2013 to $36.35 billion by 2017, while globally, film revenue will grow at a rate of 3.6 percent per year to $106.01 billion by 2017.

The biggest growth in film will come from "over the top" streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and In 2013, OTT will generate $6.569 billion in revenue; in 2017, it's projected to reach $17.438 billion, representing growth of 27.2 percent annually.

The laggard in the worldwide film business, not surprisingly, is physical rental and sell-through home entertainment products, the combined revenue of which will sink from $38.197 billion in 2013 to $31.341 billion in 2017, a 4.9 percent decrease annually.

A tipping point in U.S. home entertainment will occur in 2016, when the combined revenue from PPV, VOD and OTT will surge past physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs for the first time, though that won’t be the case worldwide.

The worldwide tipping point, though, will occur in 2014, when the box office will generate more revenue than physical home video for the first time since PwC began publishing its annual report 14 years ago.

The worldwide box office is benefiting from “continued mass proliferation of multiple screens in developing markets,” says Matt Lieberman, director of entertainment, media and communications for PwC. Lieberman says that South Asia, in particular, is building large amounts of high-quality theaters.

In 2017, Americans will buy 1.3 billion movie tickets and pay an average price of $9.60 for them, according to PwC, representing a slow growth of 1.3 percent a year in admissions and 2 percent a year in ticket prices stateside.

Of the 13 sectors that make up the E&M industry, film will grow at the seventh-fastest pace worldwide. The fastest is Internet advertising, which will grow 13.1 percent annually from 2013-2017. Print will bring up the rear, with magazine publishing growing at 0.3 percent, while the newspaper industry remains flat. A milestone will occur in 2016, when the global E&M category becomes a $2 trillion industry.

Piracy remains a problem abroad, PwC says in its report, sometimes spurred by “a blizzard of consumption choices” that confuse customers. In Singapore, for example, “some consumers were paying for pirated TV content when the same content was available legally at no cost."

The report also says that cord-cutters exist, and now are being joined by “cord-nevers,” which PwC says refers to “a younger generation who would never think of paying for TV." Nevertheless, TV advertising in the U.S. will grow 5.1 percent annually from 2013-2017 to $81.62 billion while TV subscriptions and license fees will grow 2.2 percent to $83 billion. Worldwide, TV advertising will grow 5.3 percent a year and subscription and license fees 3.8 percent.

Video games, with robust growth of 6.5 percent annually, will overtake consumer magazines in 2017 across the world, though in the U.S., according to the report, magazines will remain a bigger business than video games for the foreseeable future.

When looking at consumer spending and advertising revenue across all media, “The U.S. remains the largest E&M market globally through the next five years, followed by Japan, China, Germany, the U.K. and France,” the report says. “While this top six will remain unchanged, Brazil will overtake Italy and South Korea in 2013 to become the seventh-largest market.”

While the world’s E&M industry grows at 5.6 percent annually, the so-called BRIC countries will grow much more rapidly, though not enough to overtake the U.S. anytime soon. Brazil will grow at 10.8 percent annually, Russia at 10.2 percent, India at 13.5 percent and China at 12 percent.

Fueling growth worldwide is “the democratization of content,” in part due to the proliferation of smart mobile devices, says Mary Shelton Rose, U.S. entertainment and media content advisory leader for PwC. While mobile-Internet subscription penetration in mature markets was at 24 percent in 2008, it has surged to 60 percent in 2013 and will be at 83 percent by 2017. In developing markets, mobile-Internet subscription penetration ranged from 5 to 7 percent in 2008, but will grow to 52 to 54 percent by 2017.