PwC Media Outlook Predicts Rapid Mobile Ad Growth & Resilience of ‚ÄúLive Experiences”

PwC released its annual forecast for the media and entertainment industries today. The Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019, presents long-term predictions for such segments as B2B media, consumer and educational books, consumer magazine publishing, and internet advertising.

The headline splayed across PwC’s press release for the report is “The Digital and Traditional Media Divide is Irrelevant Among Consumers.” Although the statement may seem obvious to some, it’s a worthwhile reminder to those in the publishing industry obsessed with the print-digital discussion (dare we say distraction). Consumers simply don’t care. They want the right content, at the right time, on the platform that makes the most sense. The lesson here, reports PwC, is that “consumer choice is paramount.”

According to Joe Atkinson, PwC’s U.S. advisory entertainment, media & communications leader: “To succeed, E&M businesses will need to develop new capabilities as what matters most is the ability to combine content with a user experience that is differentiated and compelling on the consumer’s platform of choice. This requires managing customer relationships not by distribution channel, but by adopting a holistic approach via segments anchored in richer user profiles and powered by deeper data and analytics expertise.”

While digital media will continue to expand in the U.S., with digital spending expected to grow at 11.1 % compound annual growth rate (CAGR), non-digital media is still expected to be a significant contributor to media revenue. In particular, revenue from “shared, live experiences,” such as concerts and live sporting events will grow over the next five years, reports PwC. And many publishers have already found success in live events business,which Publishing Executive has reported on extensively.

Another unsurprising but valuable takeaway from this year’s Outlook report is the need to monetize media on mobile platforms. U.S. mobile advertising is predicted to surge to a 25.6% CAGR in 2019 to become the leading internet advertising category. It’s clear that advertisers want to be on this platform, but creating a positive editorial and ad experience for mobile readers is still a challenge.

Deborah Bothun, PwC’s U.S. entertainment, media & communications leader, in a press release, noted that change management challenges remain for many media organizations. “In today’s multi-platform environment, E&M companies must take a hard look at the talent, organizational structure and alignment of performance measures with overall strategy across their entire business…While this may seem self-evident, it remains a major challenge that many companies are struggling to overcome as they transform their operations to engage today’s consumer. Mastering the user experience will be the critical success factor for monetizing consumers and sustaining growth.”

For more insights from PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report, see the full press release below. A video discussion of the report will be available here on 6/5.

NEW YORK, June 3, 2015 – After more than a decade of digital disruption across the entertainment & media (E&M) industry, the distinction between digital and traditional media is deemed irrelevant in the minds and wallets of consumers, according to PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019 – an in-depth five-year outlook for global consumer spending and advertising revenues directly related to entertainment and media content – released today. The E&M industry is now a multifaceted ecosystem – with new digital offerings creating a bigger, more diverse content universe and with digital accelerating delivery across platforms – whereby consumer choice is paramount.

The Outlook forecasts that global E&M spending is expected to rise from $1.74 trillion in 2014 to $2.23 trillion by 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1 percent. The U.S. remains the largest E&M market, growing at a 4.9 percent CAGR and reaching $723 billion by 2019, from $568 billion in 2014.

Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.