The steady rise of the digital: PwC’s entertainment and media predictions 2015-2019 – UPDATED

According to international accounting firm PwC digital content is forecast to grow at 10 percent year-on-year to 2019, while spending on non-digital content will increase by just 0.13 percent year-on-year. However, for traditional media that’s an improvement on last year’s forecast which predicted its decline would be swifter, decreasing in non-digital content by an average of half a percent to 2018.

Unsurprisingly, advertising growth is primarily digital, driven by mobile. PwC says it’s one of the fastest-growing segments of advertising at an average of 11.2 percent year-on-year which it predicts will continue through to 2019, overtaking TV as the biggest share of advertising by 2017. However, the Herald says despite the hype PwC notes mobile advertising “…will account for only 4.4 percent of total internet advertising revenue in 2019.”

PwC also predicts the total entertainment and media industries in New Zealand will grow at an annual rate of 3.8 percent to 2019, compared to global growth of 5.1 percent.

PwC says over 32 percent of all advertising revenues and 16.5 percent of consumer revenues will be digitally sourced by 2019. And across all segments in New Zealand to 2019 overall advertising revenues will rise at a rate of 1.5 percent year-on-year which is less than consumer spending growth rate at 2.9 percent year-on-year.

Predictably, one of the underlying trends in entertainment and media spending is the shift of how New Zealanders are consuming content “One of the clearest shifts is in TV and video consumption, with consumers increasingly demanding high-quality original programming in a flexible, on-demand manner across numerous devices – thus enabling ‘binge viewing’ and greater convenience.”

This prediction is illustrated by the demand for streaming services becoming so strong it has caused internet congestion and a decent portion of internet traffic has been taken up by streaming services.

According to the Herald, the congestion of streaming services such as Lightbox, Netflix and other on-demand services could even help hasten the pick-up of ultra-fast broadband.

Broadband speed-monitoring service TrueNet said earlier an explosion of video-on-demand streaming services has caused isolated congestion with speeds dropping and even some buffering. It says the problem was worse in April, not long after the launch of Netflix in New Zealand.

CallPlus chief technology officer Adrian Dick said: “Also interesting in New Zealand and Australia was the almost instant popularity of Netflix,” Dick said. “Kiwis have taken to the service in droves since the New Zealand launch, with Netflix traffic accounting for between 15 and 20 percent of all traffic on the CallPlus Network already.”

PwC’s digital strategy and data leader Greg Doone says “For consumers it’s all about content experiences. If digital is a simpler way of getting the content they will gravitate towards that. Given the wide variations in consumer tastes for content, the challenge for entertainment and media companies is to blend traditional intuitive approaches with data insights and to maximise the value of the experiences they offer. 

“It’s increasingly clear that New Zealanders see no significant divide between digital and traditional media: what they want is more flexibility, freedom and convenience in when and how they consume their preferred content. Consumers will call the shots more as they seek content experiences that are personally relevant to them,” says Doone.

In its release from last week (4 June), PwC incorrectly stated the 2014 internet advertising revenue reached $435 million in 2014 and was due to reach $737 million by 2019. The correct figure for 2014 for this segment is $589 million and PwC says the forecast figures are being updated accordingly.

PwC says the correct breakdown for this segment is as follows: 

The correct breakdown for this segment for 2014 is as follows: total display $125.07 million, total classified $138.83 million, total search & directories $310.86 million, total social media $2.43 million and
total mobile $12.21 million.

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