Global entertainment and media revenues to hit $2.2T by 2021, PwC says

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The U.S. currently accounts for 47% of global online video revenues, but the rest of the world is rapidly catching up.

Global entertainment and media revenues will cruise past $2 trillion by 2021, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The firm today released its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, covering the industries from 2017 to 2021. It predicts that global E&M revenues will rise from $1.8 trillion in 2016 to $2.2 trillion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 4.2%. That is down from the 4.4% CAGR PwC forecast last year.

PwC is forecasting that U.S. E&M revenues will reach $759 billion by 2021, up from $635 billion in 2016, moving at a CAGR of 3.6%.

The firm warned that E&M revenues are approaching an industry plateau because mature segments are in decline. But report shows that internet and digital E&M content is growing, though at a slowing rate, and that market segments such as e-sports and virtual reality are just beginning to accelerate.

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"The next era of differentiation in E&M is being defined and propelled by consumers' increased demand for live, immersive, sharable experiences. Consumers want to get closer, more engaged and better connected with the stories they love – both in the physical and digital worlds," said Deborah Bothun, PwC's Global Entertainment & Media leader, in a statement. "At the same time, companies can start to empower those experiences through a number of emerging technologies. Perhaps big data and artificial intelligence will create the most dramatic change, redefining how the industry can connect with all stakeholders and drive growth. We're already seeing a number of ways that AI is being used to personalize, customize and curate entertainment content and experiences at scale."

PwC specifically highlighted virtual reality in its report. The firm estimated that 68 million VR headsets will be in use in the U.S. by 2021, and that the installed base will grow at a CAGR of 69.2%. The report said that the VR segment is projected to add nearly the same revenue as TV advertising between 2016 to 2021, a total of $4.6 billion.

The report also pointed out that the U.S. online video industry is by far the most mature in the world. The U.S. currently accounts for 47% of total global online video revenues, but that number will fall to 43% by 2021 as more nations around the world catch up.