Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020: US edition

A five-year economic forecast for industry revenue, ad spending and internet access.

Capturing attention and value in today's global multi-speed media landscape has never been more challenging. 

The past 20 years have brought a wave of disruption in technologies, distribution, and formats. All this, plus the resulting shifts in user behavior, are eroding the once-solid borders defining industries and pushing the boundary of what it means to be a “media company.” Entertainment & media companies are fighting to navigate today's landscape and answer questions like:

  • How can we break through all the noise and retain consumer attention?
  • How can we use data analytics while establishing trust?
  • How can we continue to innovate while staying true to our authentic voice?

PwC's Global entertainment & media outlook is the most comprehensive five-year economic forecast for industry revenue, ad spending and internet access. The Outlook provides a roadmap for future industry growth.

During the forecast period, five industries will demonstrate changes with the most impact - film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, video games. Below we highlight outlook results for these sectors.

Outlook live in 60 seconds: Industry leading perspectives

Welcome and Introduction to the tipping points and themes
(runtime 11:18)

Keynote interview with Donna Speciale, President, Turner Ad Sales
(runtime 30:50)

Deborah Bothun, Global E&M Leader, PwC, with Ed Lee, Recode
(runtime 31:22)

Beatriz Acevedo, Founder and President, mitú network
(runtime 31:15)

Caryl Stern, President and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF
(runtime 15:38)


5 things driving tomorrow’s content deals

By Bart Spiegel, Partner, Deals

Entertainment content deals across film and TV continue to attract the interest of both domestic and international buyers. The transactions announced in the first half of 2016 indicate this trend will continue, at least in the short term, but for how long and at what valuations? Will the market saturate? 

Financial forecasting in the age of digital disruption

By Todd Supplee, Partner, Entertainment & Media

Technological advances represent a potent centrifugal force in entertainment and media (E&M) — breaking up existing relationships; pushing large generalists to yield to smaller specialists; and allowing smaller, nimble competitors to run circles around incumbents.

Protect customer data from security breaches

By Wendy Frank, Principal, Cybersecurity and Privacy 

Entertainment and media (E&M) companies are most likely to succeed if they follow appropriate protocols to store and manage the vast amounts of customer data they are collecting.

Local regulations don't have to impede growth 

By David Sapin, Leader, Risk & Regulatory - Technology, Entertainment, Media & Communications

As growth slows in older, established markets entertainment and media (E&M) companies are looking toward emerging markets for more robust revenue trajectories.

Impose discipline on capital planning

By Greg Chiasson, Principal, Capital Projects & Infrastructure

What’s the key to building an entertainment and media (E&M) juggernaut, global in scale, rich in service, deep in analytics? Increasingly, it’s cost-effective capital deployment.

US segment highlights

  • Cinema
  • Music
  • TV/Video
  • Internet advertising
  • Video games


According to Outlook, US cinema sector revenue is expected to fall in 2016; however, this dip is expected to be offset by subsequent year-on-year revenue rises, reaching $12bn by 2020 at 1.2% CAGR.

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According to the Outlook, the US music market was worth $15.2bn in 2015, up from $14.9bn in 2011. Total music revenue is forecast to increase at a 3.5% CAGR to reach $18bn in 2020.

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According to the Outlook, TV and video revenue in the US will rise from $119.8bn in 2015 to $122.1bn in 2020, a CAGR of 0.4%. Growth in electronic home video will help offset declines in physical home video and flat TV subscription revenue.

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internet advertising

Internet advertising

According to the Outlook, the US continues to be the leading internet advertising market in the world. With total internet advertising revenue in 2015 of $59.6bn, it is more than twice the size of China, the second-largest market.

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Video games

Video games

According to the Outlook, total video games revenue in the US was $17bn in 2015, up from $15bn in 2011, and it is forecast to grow by a 3.6% CAGR to reach $20.3bn in 2020.

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What does the future hold for the media industry? Hear industry voices.

Welcome to Industry Voices. In March, we hosted an Outlook preview event for leading entertainment & media executives. After the presentation, we asked them to share their perspective on what's next in today's rapidly changing industry landscape. Watch the video to hear what's on the E&M horizon.

Join the conversation: #PwCOutlook

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Matthew Lieberman
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