PWC: Entertainment, Media to Grow—Music, Digital, Broadband to Benefit

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Digital will drive growth, and boost everything from the publishing industry to music, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' new “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook,” which projects out from 2012 to 2016.

Total spending on media and entertainment is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 5.7 percent to $2.1 trillion by 2016. The U.S. market is projected to grow faster than it has since 2007, with a 5.2 percent compound annual growth rate, to $597 billion in 2016.

The future of media and entertainment is all about digital, which will generate 67 percent of spending growth in the next five years. But digital growth is not incremental—it’s directly cannibalizing older types of content distribution—like traditional books or even TV subscriptions. One business that will unilaterally benefit from the rise of digital: broadband and wireless service providers.

Spending to access the Internet, both through broadband and Wi-Fi, will grow to $493 billion in 2016 from $317 billion in 2011. PWC won’t name names of companies bound to benefit from these trends—but you can bet that companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast that sell that access will cash in.

Here’s a link to the report.

Some highlights:

MUSIC: Digital music distribution will overtake physical music distribution this year. The rise of music digital revenue will be marked by the rise of digital subscription services, like Spotify, and perhaps one from Apple. Interestingly, the report projects that music “will rebound with steady expansion,” growing to $19.8 billion in 2016 from $15.2 billion in 2011. Online radio advertising is projected to hit $802 million in 2016 while satellite radio ads are projected to generate $116 million in revenue.

PUBLISHING: The publishing industry will see traditional print books decline, but that will be more than compensated by the rise in eBooks. Electronic books are projected to grow by an almost 32 percent compound annual growth rate. And PwC expects a significant rise in paid digital subscriptions for magazines — digital will account for 6.5 percent of total magazine subscription in 5 years.

ADVERTISING: Internet advertising is still a surprisingly small percentage of overall ad spend, and mobile is even smaller. PwC expects Internet advertising to grow 17 percent to $105.4 billion in 2012. Mobile advertising is growing fast—but projected to grow just to $24.5 billion in 2016 from $5.2 billion in 2011. No surprise, China’s Internet ad market is growing faster than any other than the U.S.: projected to hit $31 billion in 2016.

WHO WINS: Companies that bundle and package services—like Apple—which touch every point of content delivery and consumption. Professional content from the traditional media companies is still the most valuable, but it’s the companies that look at cross-platform distribution that will be the most successful. Companies that find every possible pathway to consumers—via subscription, digital download, traditional TV broadcast—will make the most money.

Questions? Comments?