Everyone wants to stay entertained, especially in a world filled with uncertainty — and entertainment and media (E&M) companies are facing uncertainties of their own. After robust 10.6% growth in 2021 and a notable surge in industry growth after the pandemic receded, the pace of growth in the entertainment and media industry is projected to decline in each of the next four years – 2024 – 2027 according to PwC. The PwC analysts expect the annual industry growth rate to level out at 2.8% by 2027, underscoring a recalibration in the media and entertainment industry.
Amidst this recalibration, digitalization continues to shape the entertainment and media terrain. Equip yourself with valuable insights into media and entertainment industry trends that will impact the industry.
Quick peek, big impact: Entertainment and media outlook 2024–2027
The slowdown stems from various factors, with certain key sectors experiencing a waning of the initial surge of revenue and attention witnessed early in the pandemic. A notable example is the podcast industry, which saw a substantial 80% decline in podcast material creation between 2020 and 2022. The predominant challenge in 2024 and beyond lies in consumer spending, hampered by inflation, pandemic fatigue, and the uncertainties of global events.
Consumer spending on media and entertainment is projected to grow at a humble 2.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2024 and 2027, resulting in a market size of US$903.2 billion. As e-commerce and digital platform engagement rise, companies worldwide will intensify spending to connect with consumers during decision-making moments.
Meanwhile, we will see a clear leader amidst slowdowns. By 2025, advertising is projected to surpass consumer spending as the largest category in E&M, driven by robust 8.1% growth in internet ad spending in 2022. Advertising revenue is forecasted to rise from US$763.7 billion to US$952.6 billion globally over the period 2022–2027. This is how advertising is expected to become the first E&M category to reach US$1 trillion in annual revenue.
We can also expect to witness a surge in digital content providers, intensifying competition in the already content-rich landscape. As a result, despite an increase in the time spent accessing entertainment and media content, consumer spending per capita in the digital entertainment and media industries is expected to decrease, dropping from 0.53% of average personal income in 2023 to 0.45% by 2027.
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Growth hotspots in the media and entertainment industry
As we navigate the aftermath of the COVID-19 era, the coming years – from 2024 to 2027– promise to reveal the impact of post-pandemic consumer habits, with a notable hunger for offline experiences still present. Amidst these shifts in habits, one enduring trend stands out in the media industry — the ever-growing influence of gaming.
Exploring untapped media & entertainment markets
Over-the-top (OTT) streaming, a pivotal catalyst for industry growth, is experiencing rapid expansion in emerging markets, particularly in Indonesia. This surge is attributed to factors such as a large historically underserved rural population, the proliferation of mobile broadband, and robust demand for local and sports content. After discontinuing its analogue terrestrial broadcasting signal, in 2022 Indonesia boasted the highest consumption rate of OTT video in Southeast Asia. Approximately one in three Indonesians engaged with streaming services, resulting in remarkable 40% annual growth in hours watched.
The Indonesian streaming landscape is a battleground for global giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hotstar, and HBO Go, which face competition from a vibrant community of local and regional players such as WeTV, GoPlay, Mola TV, and Vidio. The nation’s long-term growth outlook is fueled by infrastructure development, including the construction of a subsea cable to provide high-speed broadband access throughout the archipelago.
Indonesia, alongside China and India, stands out in Asia for its combination of existing market size and scale, coupled with anticipated rapid growth in consumer spending and advertising. While the US remains the largest E&M market, the Indonesian E&M market is making significant strides, ranking 15th largest with US$13 billion in annual revenue and rivaling countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Spain. The Indonesian market is poised for robust growth, with expected 7.7% CAGR in overall revenue (consumer spending and advertising) through 2027.
Tech dynamics of media industry trends
The entertainment and media industry, at the intersection of human creativity and technological prowess, has continually evolved with the advent of transformative technologies. Previously, the focus was on the transition from analogue to digital and fixed to wireless. The metaverse, once the talk of the town, is now moving beyond mere hype, evolving into a dynamic digital platform for gaming, entertainment, work, and commerce.
Today’s narrative and the potential for substantial growth revolve around the convergence of established and emerging technologies, with a spotlight on generative AI, particularly powered by advanced deep-learning models and neural networks. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, launched in November 2022, became a game-changer, rapidly amassing 100 million users globally within two months. This new wave of generative AI, also embraced by tech giants like Google, Meta, Nvidia, and Baidu, holds immense promise for the entertainment and media industry.
Generative AI enhances productivity by automating tasks, streamlining content creation workflows, and opening doors to innovative content generation, from scripts and voiceovers to entire gaming worlds at a fraction of the traditional cost and timeline. However, as the use and sophistication of generative AI grow, the industry must confront challenges related to business models, privacy, intellectual property, security, environmental impact, and ethical considerations.
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From generative AI to IoT: Unpacking trends in the media industry with Intellias
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Fast-forward to the future: Media & entertainment trends 2024–2027
Transformation of streaming services
Within the realm of entertainment marketing trends, the evolution of streaming services stands out. Recent years have witnessed a remarkable surge in both the quantity and variety of streaming platforms. Projections suggest that streaming is not merely a passing fad but represents a fundamental shift in how we engage with entertainment, with anticipated annual streaming revenue surpassing US$139 billion globally by 2027.
Source: Nielsen, 2023
TV & Streaming in the US, 2022
Deloitte predicts that the combined number of subscription video on demand tiers offered by the top US providers will more than double between 2022 and 2024, from an average of four to eight. From cheap ad-supported offerings and gated content to premium tiers with instant access, streamers are expected to shift from growth at all costs to making it easier for all their subscribers to get value for the price.
A distinctive trend in recent times is the ascent of niche streaming platforms, each designed to cater to specific interests, genres, or demographics. An exemplary case is Crunchyroll, a dedicated anime service that experienced significant growth during the pandemic, amassing over five million paying subscribers. Another notable instance is Disney+, which swiftly built a substantial subscriber base by leveraging its extensive back catalog and introducing new programming. These successes underscore rising demand for specialized content tailored to distinct tastes and preferences.
As streaming services continue to multiply, they are reshaping the entertainment marketing landscape. Conventional approaches such as blanket advertising and broad demographic targeting are making way for more personalized, data-driven strategies. With access to a wealth of user data encompassing viewing habits and demographic information, streaming platforms can craft highly targeted marketing campaigns, ultimately enhancing user satisfaction and engagement.
From pixels to profit: Gaming’s influence on entertainment industry trend
The gaming sector stands as a one of the primary players in the entertainment industry globally, captivating audiences across all demographics, with a particular hold on youth. Games are evolving beyond mere entertainment, establishing themselves as a versatile medium for creativity, consumer spending, and advertising.
2023 global games market per segment, Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report 2023
Total global gaming revenue is expected to grow from US$227 billion in 2023 to a substantial US$312 billion by 2027, marking a robust 7.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). As confidence in the gaming sector grows, advertising revenue is set to nearly double between 2022 and 2027, reaching a noteworthy US$100 billion milestone in 2025. This trajectory underscores gaming’s escalating centrality to E&M experiences, as evidenced by video games becoming primary source material for blockbuster films.
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Front row to the future: Sports and live entertainment in 2024 and beyond
After a prolonged period of limitations on in-person experiences, live sectors are experiencing a resurgence and are poised to outperform the broader E&M industry. Taking into account all live event sub-sectors in the consumer space, a return to (and growth beyond) pre-pandemic E&M revenue levels is anticipated by 2024, with annual revenue reaching US$68.7 billion—up from US$66.6 billion in 2019. The growth trajectory for live experience revenue through 2027 is impressive, showcasing a 9.6% CAGR: a stark contrast to the predicted 2.4% CAGR for overall consumer revenue.
Cinema box office revenue is expected to reclaim pre-pandemic levels by 2025, reaching US$43.0 billion, with a significant global climb in theater admissions each year, starting from 2019. Esports has also witnessed a resurgence, with global ticket sales returning to pre-pandemic levels. This marks one of the fastest-growing sub-sectors in the E&M industry, with a projected five-year CAGR of 13.8%.
The immense viewership potential of live events, particularly in sports, contributes significantly to growth. In Indonesia, local streaming provider Vidio competes with global giants by offering premium sports content, while in Brazil, Globo’s SporTV secures its position as the country’s most-watched pay-TV channel, boasting a diverse slate of live sports. The resurgence of live events signals a dynamic source of growth, shaping the future E&M industry landscape.
Redefining engagement: What’s next in social media for 2024
The AI Trend
Social marketers are rapidly adopting AI, with organizations planning to double or even triple its use across various activities. However, a Hootsuite Social Media Consumer 2024 Survey indicates that audiences are not wholeheartedly embracing AI-generated content, with 62% of consumers expressing reluctance to engage with or trust content created by AI applications.
Generative AI, while a boon for busy professionals, comes with its challenges. Different generations exhibit varying levels of trust toward AI-generated content. In 2024, successful brands will redefine authenticity, focusing on the brand experience rather than exclusively human content creation. To navigate this evolving landscape, marketers must understand their audience’s feelings about AI, effectively delegate tasks, and establish clear AI policies and best practices for social media.
The platform trend
Maintaining a presence on multiple social platforms has become a major challenge for brands, especially considering the constant evolution of each platform and the unique demands of diverse audiences. The average social media user logs into seven platforms each month, making it crucial for organizations to strategically choose platforms based on their return on investment (ROI). The Hootsuite Social Trends 2024 Survey reveals that organizations are willing to prioritize platforms that benefit their business, even considering abandoning those that do not meet their ROI criteria.
Shift in platform use for businesses from 2022 to 2023
Source: Social Media Trends 2024, Hootsuite
Samples: 3891 respondents and 9422 respondents
In 2024, strategic organizations will push back against the pressure to be on every platform and focus on mastering a few key channels based on their ROI. Marketers are advised to conduct social media audits, evaluate platform ROI, and master proper cross-posting techniques to declutter their social platform mix.
The ROI trend
Social media users prioritize entertainment, with the top reason for using social media being to unwind and be entertained. Despite this, brands often engage in self-promotion, creating a disconnect between what brands post and what users want to see. Over two-thirds of social media marketers report concern about the ROI of their social activities, primarily relying on engagement metrics.
Brands rely on engagement metrics to demonstrate ROI
Sample: 4268 respondents
In 2024, brands that prioritize entertaining content on social media will succeed in capturing audience attention and market share. The key is to provide content that offers enjoyment, inspiration, excitement, or learning. Brands are advised to follow their audience’s lead, adopt a long-term approach to social media, and measure engagements in the context of broader business goals for authentic and value-driven relationships.
The surge of OTT
Over the past two years, we have seen remarkable growth in the consumption of over-the-top (OTT) content. In 2021, OTT consumption witnessed a 75% surge, and contrary to expectations, both the number of streaming service subscribers and the hours spent consuming content increased by 20%.
In the United States alone, viewers streamed nearly 15 million years’ worth of content in 2021, showcasing an insatiable appetite for streaming.
Projections indicate that by 2024, 45% of Western Europe’s population will be OTT users, and APAC’s OTT revenue is expected to soar by 90% to US$54 billion by 2026.
The rise of niche platforms and owned channels for smaller publishers
The creator economy is flourishing, with Forbes estimating it to be a $104.2 billion market in 2022, attracting substantial venture capital. Niche platforms such as Mubi, Crunchyroll, Shudder, and Yaddo have achieved success by focusing on highly specialized content. Beyond this, publishers and businesses are launching their own OTT services, offering a variety of content from food vlogs to yoga studio videos. The accessibility of technology has fueled this OTT renaissance, allowing ambitious publishers to launch streaming services with a low budget.
Subscription fatigue leads to more varied models
After a surge in subscriptions during the pandemic, Deloitte Global predicts a global subscription services cancellations. Consumers are now more willing to watch ads in exchange for lower monthly fees, leading to the anticipated growth of ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) and a potential doubling of CTV budgets by 2026. Transactional video on demand (TVOD) is also gaining traction, allowing viewers to purchase or rent shows and movies. Additionally, the freemium model, offering basic services for free, is becoming more prevalent, opening up new monetization opportunities for small or niche publishers.
Meanwhile, the battle for market share rages on among the giants
Netflix and Amazon Prime continue to dominate the streaming landscape, with Disney+ competing for third alongside Hulu and ESPN+. While Disney+ initially gained a substantial number of subscribers, recent growth has slowed, intensifying the battle for market share.
Advancement in smart TVs sees CTV viewer numbers picking up
As smart TV sales skyrocket worldwide, improvements in the smart TV user experience (UX) are encouraging more people to watch TV through these platforms. The rise of services like Apple TV+ is evident, with, by the way has today 40 million global accounts and 20 million paying subscribers. This offers new opportunities for businesses to reach audiences through traditional television screens.
Telecom operators offer bundled packages
Telecom operators are adapting to the age of streaming by bundling OTT subscriptions, such as Netflix, HBO, or Disney+, into their service plans. This move aims to keep them relevant and prevent the decline of the traditional telecom business model. Bundled packages are expected to account for up to 50% of online viewing minutes by next year, showcasing the growing integration of telecom and streaming services.
Advertising ascendancy in the media & entertainment industry
Advertising is experiencing significant growth and is poised to become the first E&M category to approach a remarkable US$1 trillion valuation.
Notably, this inflection point has already occurred in Australia and the UK, where revenue from ad-supported video on demand is set to nearly double over the next five years. The streaming industry, once envisioned to liberate subscribers from advertising, has transformed into a model where advertising becomes a central revenue stream. Consumer acceptance of advertising within streaming products is on the rise.
Free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services, characterized by digital networks of curated channels with precise addressability, have emerged as a key player in targeted advertising. Early movers like Pluto TV, now under Paramount’s ownership, have paved the way. Device manufacturers such as Roku, Samsung, and LG are now capitalizing on the growing connected television market, turning streaming channels into a lucrative revenue source alongside their core businesses.
Japanese conglomerate Rakuten operates its own streaming platforms and offers third-party channels, contributing to the expanding FAST landscape. Omdia’s survey in 2022 revealed that 45% of respondents in the US using FAST services were under 35, indicating preferences among a younger demographic.
Even streaming giant Netflix, which abstained from advertising for its first 25 years, introduced an ad-supported tier in 2022 in specific regions. By May 2023, Netflix reported nearly five million subscribers for its ad-tier service. In the UK, ITVX, a new streaming service by free-to-air commercial broadcaster ITV, provides viewers with a choice between free access to shows with advertisements and a subscription model offering an ad-free stream supplemented with content from StudioCanal Presents and BritBox.
Understanding the impact of evolving regulations on media & entertainment
As the entertainment and media industry increasingly relies on digital products and services, efforts to contain and self-regulate digital businesses and algorithms are gaining prominence. Key developments include Apple’s tracking changes impacting major players like Facebook, the delayed demise of third-party cookies announced by Google, and the race to personalize advertising while maintaining user anonymity. Techniques such as clean rooms, data masking, generalization, and pseudonymization are employed to navigate privacy concerns.
The regulatory landscape is intensifying, with the EU implementing the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, the US progressing towards its own data privacy law, and Australia adding amendments to its Privacy Act. The regulatory landscape, influenced by technological advancements and geopolitical considerations, continues to evolve globally.
Navigating the future: Key takeaways from media and entertainment trends in 2024 and beyond
One thing has become clear: the media and entertainment industry is in the midst of a recalibration. The robust growth of the past is giving way to a more measured pace, with projections indicating a shift from stellar 10.6% growth in 2021 to a stabilizing 2.8% by 2027. Despite this recalibration, the unwavering force of digitization is propelling the industry forward and shaping a dynamic future.
Amidst the ebb and flow, key trends emerge as beacons guiding the way forward. From the ascent of advertising to the ever-growing influence of gaming, the surge in OTT consumption, and the transformative power of generative AI, these trends define an industry at the intersection of creativity and technology.
As we fast-forward to the future, Intellias stands ready as your dynamic technology partner, offering a comprehensive suite of services to navigate the evolving tech terrain. Whether you require OTT platform development, intelligent AdTech services, top-notch media solutions, or IoT-based innovations, we’re here to ensure you stay at the forefront of innovation.
Contact Intellias now and fast-forward to your future in media and entertainment. Let’s shape tomorrow’s experiences today.