Crowning the global entertainment king?

Video games are no longer child’s play as this thriving industry looks set to outpace the movie segment, to lead in global digital entertainment.

And growth in gaming is expected to continue for the next few years, while the global film and music industries are not looking as rosy.

However, despite its new-age boom and bluster, digital media still has a ways to go to topple the decades, if not centuries-old preferred modes of entertainment – a good old-fashioned book, and a pull on the one-armed bandit.

Industry Value (Global)
Gambling $140 billion
Book Publishing $108 billion
Video Games $93 billion
Film $90 billion
Music $28 billion

Video gaming boom

According to research firm, Gartner, the gaming industry is expected to hit $111 billion in value by 2015.

This is mostly on the back of rapid growth in the mobile gaming segment, as well as the dawn of a new generation of video games consoles from Sony and Microsoft, which launched in November 2013.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 console has since gone on to sell over six million units, worldwide, with Microsoft’s Xbox One – which has not yet launched in all markets across the globe – trailing behind with a reported 3.9 million sales by the end of 2013.

According to Gartner, the video game marketplace, which includes video game console hardware and software, online, mobile and PC games, is expected to be worth as much as $93 billion as of 2013, up from $79 billion in 2012.

“Growth will resume during 2014 and sales of existing console hardware are forecast to grow from $15.9 billion today to $22.7 billion in 2015,” Gartner said.

Shrinking movie market?

Looking at the global movie industry, on the other hand, the Global Movie Production and Distribution report compiled by market research firm, IBISWorld, shows some startling figures.

In 2012, IBISWorld pegged the global movie production and distribution industry as generating revenue of $126.8 billion – however, that figure has diminished to a figure of $90 billion in 2013.

According to the group, higher quality cinemas, and growth in “newly industrialised nations” boosted industry revenue in 2013, while HD home media is expected to “spur industry demand” over the next five years.

Research group, MarketLine, reported further that it expects growth in the global film market to further slow to a yearly rate of -0.3% through 2015, to under $86 billion.

However, while there’s an expected slow-down in the global movie industry, research from Global Industry Analysts notes that the global online movie market is expected grow and reach almost $4.45 billion by 2017.

“With movie theater outings becoming an increasingly expensive option, consumers are moving towards the trend of movie viewing at home, especially in the context of the economic recession,” the firm said.

“Market growth will be fuelled by broadband internet, increasing rentals and 3D movies. The number of movies available online is growing steadily, along with the online movie consumer base.”

“With outfits such as Netflix and Apple facilitating movie downloads and viewing, consumers are quick to choose movies to rent or buy for home viewing.”

Music industry mumbles

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents the global recording industry, noted in its 2013 report that global revenues from world-wide sales of music (both physical and digital) as well as marketing and performance rights totalled a relatively paltry $16.5 billion.

The IFPI has not yet released its 2014 report (with the performance for 2013), so the figure is technically not directly comparable – but gives a good indication of how music fits into the overall entertainment picture.

IBISWorld, however, pegs the total value of the global music production and distribution industry at US$28 billion.

By mid-2013, data analysis group Nielsen reported that over 43% of album sales in the USA were digital (2012: 38%), with audio streaming volumes increasing by 25%.

The firm noted that by the end of 2013, audio streaming in the US had grown by 30%, marking 118.1 billion unique streaming sessions in the year.

Gambling

IBISWorld also notes that the global casino and online gambling industry is valued at US$140 billion, with no signs of slowing down.

“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,” the firm said.

By the book

Moving further away from digital entertainment, IBISWorld reported that the global book publishing industry is valued at US$108 billion.

However, with an annual growth rate of -2.3% between 2008 and 2013, the industry is feeling the impact of digital.

“A transition toward digital technology also dented the global book publishing industry revenue due to the difficulty of pricing e-books, which are intrinsically different from printed products,” IBISWorld said.

“The investments necessary to transition toward digital publishing also led to consolidation within the industry.”

According to the firm, the four largest companies in the global book publishing industry  – led by Pearson – are expected to account for about 14.7% of industry revenue in 2013.

Top sellers

According to data from United World Chart, Bruno Mars’ album, Unorthodox Jukebox, was the top-selling album internationally in 2013, with just over 3.6 million album sales.

This was overshadowed by both the top performers in the movie and gaming industry – Iron Man 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5 – both of which raked in well over US$1 billion in sales over the year.

Grand Theft Auto 5, notably, broke several records upon its release, including best-selling video game in 24 hours; fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion; fastest video game to gross US$1 billion; and highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours.

Entertainment industries in 2013 (US$)

Industry Value
Top release
Unit sales
Gross
Gaming industry $93.3 billion Grand Theft Auto V 32.5 million $1.95 billion
Movie industry $90.0 billion Iron Man 3 $1.2 billion
Music industry $28.0 billion Bruno Mars Unorthodox Jukebox 3.6 million $51.0 million

*Calculated at RRP unit sales: US$60/game, US$14/album

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Crowning the global entertainment king?