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Global consumer spending on multimedia content and technology defies pandemic, grows 6.1% to $ 2.01 million in 2020, fueled by streaming audio and video services, video game software and hardware


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The fastest growing consumer media spending category in 2020 was digital audio services, which climbed 40.0% to $ 30.98 billion globally. The growing popularity of podcasting was the main driver of the double-digit increase, as Spotify, iHeart, and Amazon all dove deep into podcasting.

Global consumer spending on multimedia content and technology, according to a new study from PQ, increased by about 6.1% to $ 2.012 trillion in 2020, due to the COVID-19 lockdown that forced consumers consumers to binge on multiple forms of digital entertainment to alleviate the pandemic. Media®. The gain was a strong acceleration from growth of 3.8% in 2019, signaling the fastest expansion in global and U.S. consumer media and technology spending in five years, fueled by surging spending on streaming audio and video subscription services; and digital and console services. video game software and hardware, according to PQ Media Global Consumer Media Spending Forecast 2020-2024.

Without the fall in spending on films and traditional home videos after theatrical closures around the world, growth in consumer media spending would have been the strongest in 10 years globally, while spending growth Media spending in the United States is said to have been the fastest since 1996. Growth in consumer media spending is expected to slow in 2021, but only slightly to 6.0%, as many consumers stay home to work, children continue to work. schooling virtually, more fiscal stimulus is handed out, and moviegoers start returning to the movies later in the year.

“Nonetheless, PQ Media expects growth in consumer spending on media and technology content to start slowing noticeably in 2022 and 2023, as many of the pandemic-induced forces that sparked the end-user spending spree atypical in 2020 start to fade in the second half of 2021, as the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out worldwide, adult workers begin to return to office buildings and children begin to repopulate physical schools ” said Patrick Quinn, CEO of PQ Media. “We forecast last year that consumer media spending would likely hit an inflection point and stop growing in 2023. While the pandemic briefly interrupted key secular trends in 2020 was a short-term disruption of long-term trends that will resume in 2021. -2024, as the growth decelerates or the outright decrease in spending on newspapers, magazines and printed directories, as well as on cell phones, DVDs and cinema tickets.

Overall, digital media content devices were the largest of the top nine categories of digital and traditional media platforms in 2020, generating $ 440.5 billion, while digital content subscriptions were the fastest growing. faster, up 20.7%. The shift to digital media content and technology is clearly evident in the 12 point shift in market share to digital compared to traditional media over the period 2014-2020, as the digital segment now accounts for 71, 1% of all consumer media spending, according to the Global Consumer Spending on Media Forecast 2020-2024.

Consumer spending on all media and technology globally averaged $ 352.96 per capita in 2020, up 5.3% from 2019, thanks to strong growth in streaming services digital multimedia. Of the 28 digital media categories, the fastest growing in 2020 was digital audio subscription services, which climbed 40.0% to $ 30.98 billion worldwide. The growing popularity of podcasting was a major driver of the double-digit increase, as Spotify, iHeart, and Amazon all dove deep into podcasting in 2020, making numerous deals involving new talent, content and advertising services. The number of podcast listeners in the United States increased by more than 30% to over 100 million in 2020, when Spotify acquired the sports and pop culture network “The Ringer” and the exclusive rights to “The Joe Rogan Experience ”, while Amazon Music and Audible have added over 100,000 new and original podcast channels and shows, featuring celebrities like DJ Khaled and Will Smith.

Global consumer spending on OTT video services, including streaming video subscriptions and SVOD programming, was the second fastest growing digital media category, rising nearly 30% in 2020. New streaming video services proliferated over the year as their audiences grew along with COVID-19. requiring consumers to stay indoors for longer periods of time. Netflix added 26 million subscribers worldwide to 1H20, up from just 12 million in 1H19, as hit original series like “Tiger King” and “The Queen’s Gambit” have brought new content to growing audiences. Barely a year after its launch, Disney + had nearly 75 million paying subscribers by the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, consumer spending on traditional films and home video fell 46.2% in 2020 to $ 43.05 billion. “While we expect an increase in theatrical movie ticket sales growth in 2021 and 2022, albeit compared to extremely deflated lineups in 2020 and 2021 – PQ Media estimates that physical movie ticket spending , as well as the entire film and home DVD category, will never again hit the nearly $ 85 billion mark in 2019, ”Quinn said.

Much of the near-term growth in movie ticket sales will be the result of the staggered delays of blockbuster films throughout the 2020-2024 period, due to the plethora of productions halted during pandemic lockdowns. Perhaps even more critical is the massive shift to video streaming services in recent years, which was amplified by stay-at-home orders in 2020 and further accentuated when the major studios decided to test the waters of streaming. launching several blockbuster movies via OTT video. services in 4Q20, ”added Quinn.

Among the studios that took the plunge – and plenty of criticism from movie chain owners and traditionalist producers, directors and actors – was Disney, which debuted both “Mulan” and “Soul” on its Disney + service, and Warner Media’s simultaneous release of the much-planned “Wonder Woman ’84” in theaters and on HBO Max.

While video games tend to turn the tide in typical years, with spending slowing or decreasing before major hardware upgrades, this was not the case in 2020 as spending on video game software and hardware. digital for multiplayer online games, various gaming apps, in-game microtransactions, and traditional console games have all grown throughout the year, even ahead of the long-awaited Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox releases. Microsoft Series X in 4Q20.

Of the 14 traditional media and technology categories, cable TV subscriptions remained the largest at $ 220.6 billion, followed by print books and directories, and newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Print books and directories were the fastest growing traditional media spending category, up 7.8%, as 10 of 14 traditional categories increased in 2020, including pay-per-view and televisions.

The United States remained the world’s largest market in 2020 with total media spending of $ 472.16 billion (23.5% share), followed by China, Japan and India. Russia was the fastest growing market, up 10.8%, behind South Africa, India and Argentina. Japanese consumers spent the most per capita, averaging $ 1,486.02 in 2020, while the United States ranked third with per capita spending of $ 1,419.45.

About the report:

Global Consumer Media Expenditure Forecast 2020-2024 provides exclusive and consistent market data, analysis and growth projections covering the 4 regions of the world; the 20 largest media markets; 2 areas of overall spending (media content and technology); 5 total spending segments (unit purchases, content subscriptions, access, devices and software); and 28 categories of content and technology for digital and 14 traditional media. Download a free summary and sample datasets by clicking the link above.

About PQ Media:

PQ Media® delivers intelligent data and analytics to the world’s leading media and technology organizations through syndicated market intelligence reports, in-depth personalized research, and on-demand strategic advice. PQ Media publishes the annual Global Media Forecast Series 2020-2024, which includes three reports covering industry KPIs: advertising and marketing expenses; consumer use of media; and consumer spending on the media. Click the link above to download free sample reports and for details about our special three report license.

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