COVID-19 has unleashed the sharpest decline in global entertainment and media industry revenues in decades, while at the same time fast tracked consumers’ shift to digital platforms.
PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2020–2024 reports that global revenue for the industry as a whole declined 5.6 percent from 2019, by more than US$120 billion – the greatest decline in the 21 year history of the report.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and amplified ongoing shifts in consumers’ behaviour, pulling forward digital disruption and forging industry tipping points that wouldn’t have been reached for many years,” states the report.
Predictably winners from the disruption, include video on demand and streaming services, seeing significant growth driven by audiences forced to socially distance indoors throughout the pandemic.
Over-top-video has seen global revenue surge by 26 percent this year, and is expected to almost double in size from US$46.4 billion in 2019 to US$86.8 billion in 2024.
Mobile as an entertainment device has accelerated its growth – after edging ahead in 2019, the smartphone is set to continue its surge forward as the leading individual device used by consumers to access the internet globally.
However, it’s much less positive for more traditional sectors of the global entertainment and media industry.
The report says events such as live music, cinema and trade shows have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 shutdowns.
Global cinema revenues are predicted to fall by almost 66 percent this year and are not expected to bounce back to previous levels – with revenues for 2024 set to be below their 2019 level.
Meanwhile, spending on advertising will plunge by 13.4 percent, which is hastening the long-running transition in newspapers from print to digital, with print revenues down by more than 14 percent.
Despite the dismal year, there is some positivity amid the outlook, with projections showing that in 2021, entertainment and media industry spending will grow by 6.4 percent.
While in the longer term, from 2019 to 2024, the forecast is for an overall revenue growth rate reaching 2.8 percent.