Key takeaways

  • The digital revolution has created disruptive new models of consumption and distribution.
  • The rise of the mobile internet is fuelling a demand for media and entertainment that can be consumed on-the-go.
  • Consumers are seeking out online video experiences that are rich, interactive and highly personalised.

The digital revolution has had seismic effects on the entertainment and media industries worldwide. The internet has rewritten the way we consume books, film, music and games, sparking disruptive new models for media consumption and distribution. The proliferation of new channels such as smartphones and tablets have also allowed us to be entertained while in transit, breaking down traditional barriers and transferring power from media creators to consumers. The rise of social has added a real-time dimension to this mix, sparking rapid-fire exchanges between viewers, and overturning old formulas for success.

These shifts have blurred the age-old boundaries between off and online, and heightened the imperative for innovation and creativity across the media and entertainment landscape.

Published in June 2012, the PwC Global entertainment and media outlook 2012 – 2016 Industry Overview offers powerful insights into this brave new world.  The research identified the media and entertainment trends set to have the biggest implications within this sector; the following three amongst the most prolific:

Rising smartphone and tablet sales are creating new opportunities for revenue

The popularity of smartphones and tablets signal a growing appetite for consuming media on-the-go, along with a rising need for interactivity and accessibility.

This shift is sparking wide-scale change across the publishing industry as consumers make the switch from print to digital, and demand standards of online publishing to rival offline counterparts.

The explosive growth of the e-book is powerful evidence of this shift – the report predicts that the e-book’s share of total global spending on consumer and educational titles will jump from 5% in 2011 to 18% in 2016.

Users are also swapping fixed modes of media consumption in favour of a mobile-driven approach. This is reflected in the rise of mobile Internet use, which will constitute 45% of all Internet spending in 2016, up from just 26% in 2007.

The popularity of online gaming hints at the future of socialised media

In the new world of media and entertainment, success hinges on greater interactivity, engagement and customer dialogue and the rise of online gaming offers a powerful case in point. In particular, Asia has recorded staggering growth when it comes to gaming, currently generating US$4.7 billion from online and mobile video games.

The explosive growth of online video is sparking innovative models for distribution and consumption

As online video continues its steep growth trajectory, the entertainment and media industry will be forced to play catch-up.

Consumers are not only demanding rich, interactive media experiences, they also want to control the content they can access and how they pay for it. This fact could set the stage for a multi-platform ‘media hub’ that allows users to take a curated approach to the content they consume. It could also pave the way for an environment that makes online video available for streaming via cloud-based apps and where premium content is aimed at fostering a shared and social experience.

For further insights purchase PwC’s Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook 2012-2016 from, which includes a five year revenue forecasts and commentary on 11 key sectors of the entertainment and media industry.