Print remains the dominant format, but the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for increased adoption of digital formats. Lockdown measures drove uptake in ebook revenues, which grew 8.6% and reversed several years of declining growth.
Trade show revenue suffered unprecedented collapse due to COVID-19—in fact, it was one of the worst-affected industries in the world and became the smallest B2B sector behind trade magazines.
Cinema revenues contracted at unprecedented levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic and changed the face of the industry, with physical cinemas and streamers now existing side by side. However, signs of a cinema revival are already underway, and the sector is expected to rebound after the crisis-driven slump of 2020.
The pandemic drove demand for internet connectivity to new heights in 2020, with some telcos reportedly carrying up to 60% more data on their networks than they did before the crisis. Lockdown measures prompted consumers to increase time spent watching video streams and add newly launched subscription services.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the already fast-growing global trend of increasing data consumption, testing the network capacity of fixed broadband and mobile operators as demand for data and connectivity from consumers and businesses soared.
The COVID-19 pandemic had significant impact on the internet advertising sector in 2020, but it wasn’t all bad news – although many budgets were curtailed or frozen during the height of the crisis, lockdown measures drove the appeal and usage of digital media content and services. Revenue growth in the internet advertising sector slowed but remained strong at US$336.2bn, with moderate growth expected to continue through the forecast period.
COVID-19 lockdowns dealt a severe blow to the live music sector but boosted the live streaming sector. Podcasts are now a mainstream entertainment format in many markets, and even the pandemic did not slow the phenomenal growth in that sector as people sought more entertainment at home during the crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic gave this sector an unprecedented shock, stripping tens of billions of dollars in revenue in a single year and leaving publishers subject to intense competition for reader attention from rivals like Google, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat.
After enjoying consistent growth prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, OOH suffered a sharp contraction in 2020 as lockdown measures kept people at home and indoors. Although worldwide OOH revenues fell by -27.4% amid the crisis, the rebound is expected to be nearly as steep.
While 2020 was a year of extreme growth for OTT video, with more than US$12.0bn added to the market, the next few years will require providers to find new and innovative ways to secure access to consumers as consumption subsides to pre–COVID-19 levels.
COVID-19 had a largely negative effect on the global pay-TV market, accelerating the trend of consumers moving away from traditional delivery and towards the internet and creating a physical barrier to on-premises installation and even the rollout of infrastructure.
Broadcast revenue will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2025, by which time online and connected TV advertising will add a combined US$22.6bn to the global industry.
Video games and esports are still growing globally, with social and casual gaming outpacing traditional gaming as the latter transitions to digital revenue streams amid the decline of physical sales.
Despite manufacturing challenges in the first half of 2020, the VR market continues to grow amid a period of readjustment, with an uplift in spending during COVID-19 lockdowns to just over US$1.8bn.
Global Entertainment & Media Industry Leader, PwC Germany
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Data & Content Support
Global Outlook Support Team
Global Outlook Support Team, PwC United States