The biggest entertainment markets in the world

 ·31 May 2015
Gamer gaming

The global video game industry has shot past Hollywood to become the fourth biggest entertainment market in the world, behind gambling, reading and TV.

A new report conducted by games market research group, NewZoo, pegs the global video game market at an estimated $91.5 billion in 2015, with projections to 2017 hitting $107 billion.

The figures show a close game between the Chinese and the US gaming markets, with the latter narrowly losing its crown at $22 billion, versus China’s $22.2 billion games market.

The European market, which includes Africa’s share, totals $20.5 billion.

In the ever-present ‘platform wars’, PC gaming still rules supreme, accounting for $33.7 billion of the global market. notably, web-based “casual” gaming accounts for over $6.6 billion.

TV and console gaming – which includes the new virtual reality (VR) segment – is expected to account for $25.1 billion of the global market, followed by smartphone gaming, which accounts for an estimated $20.6 billion.

The smallest gaming sector is hand-held gaming (tablets and handheld consoles) which totals and estimated $12.1 billion of the market.

Global games market

Global games market 2015

Data compiled by another research firm, SuperData, also shows that e-sports and gaming video content contributes a combined $2.1 billion to the global gaming market – while VR is a contributor of an estimated $225 million.

Video gaming’s growth is highlighted by a notable decline in other entertainment sectors, especially the performance of Hollywood and other movie studios.


Movie market

In 2012, the global movie production and distribution industry was worth and estimated $126.8 billion, according to data from market research firm, IBISWorld. By 2014, this had declined to $90 billion, with the sector seeing further decline to a projected $89 billion in 2015.

According to IBISWorld, the continued decline is due to many factors, but can be attributed to low levels of disposable income in major markets, as well as the availability of content online.

“Newly industrialized nations, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, are rising quickly and are expected to support industry revenue expansion, but the widespread availability of free movies on the internet poses a threat to the industry,” the group said.

Mobile Music

Music slump

Similarly, other entertainment sectors have also shrunk, including music production and distribution, which is projected to rake in only $15 billion in 2015, compared to $28 billion in 2014.

The slip is due to a continued failure by large companies “to leverage a crop of potential new revenue streams to compensate for the extreme drop in physical album sales over the past five years,” IBISWorld said.

“Unfortunately, over the five years to 2020, industry revenue is expected to continue contracting, and music companies’ performance over this period hinges on their ability to embrace new technology.”


TV subscriptions

According PwC’s entertainment industry tracker, TV subscriptions and licencing are expected to keep growing across to 2018, reaching close to $300 billion in value. In 2015, the global industry is projected to reach around $250 billion.

Global subscription TV revenues alone (excluding licencing) will grow at a CAGR of 3.5% to US$236 billion in 2018.

“This growth demonstrates that subscription TV is in a healthy position, assisted by the initiatives it has implemented to counter the impact of OTT and other disruptive influences,” PwC said.


 Casinos and online gambling

Similarly, the global casino and online gambling sector is also shown to be growing, having practically doubled its revenue haul since 2014, when the market was projected at $140 billion.

In 2015, IBISWorld estimates its total value is at $285 billion.

“Strong growth will continue as more casinos open in China and other Asian countries. Established markets have reached maturity and have less room for revenue growth, new markets will open up and increase access to gaming activities,” the group said.


Books and digital publishing

Since 2014, the value of the publishing market has declined slightly to $103 billion (from $108 billion in 2014), but has far more room for growth, thanks to the rise of digital technology and publishing.

According to IBISworld, the publishing sector has been wrought with uncertainty, but a transition toward digital technology, such as e-books, has created a fast growing segment.

“However, e-books are difficult to price, which has posed an interested challenge for the industry,” it said.

“In the coming years, disposable income and literacy growth will support industry growth, and the increasing use of the Internet will facilitate book sales, and the convenience of e-books will also expand the overall book market.”

# Sector Global Value
1 Casinos and online gambling $285 billion
2 TV subscriptions and licencing $250 billion
3 Book publishing and distribution $103 billion
4 Video game market $91.5 billion
5 Movie production and distribution $89 billion
6 Music production and distribution $15 billion

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