Sector report: Media

Media has been historically among the most dynamic sectors in the modern world. Just over 100 years ago, the sector was dominated largely by publishers of newspapers, magazines and books. The first commercial radio station, KDKA, would start broadcasting in 1920, a little more than a century ago, and the first television station several years after. It was not until the mid-20th century when radio and television would become completely dominant across the globe. Today we have social media and other platforms that have come to disrupt the sector and dominate it much faster. The disruption in the media sector has most recently come about thanks to the advent and mass adoption of new technologies. Traditional newspapers, magazines and books have largely gone digital, while subscription streaming services have disrupted movie rentals and traditional TV channels. Big tech companies like Google and Facebook have taken over digital advertising, with SEO experts replacing Madison Avenue. This paradigm shift is owed to a blend of internet-connected electronic gadgets catering to consumers’ convenience and consumers themselves turning into content creators and providers. The impact of the now somewhat fading covid-19 pandemic has been rather mixed, intensifying disruptive trends that were already at play before. The industry as a whole is rebounding, though not equally across all subsectors. The World Economic Forum (WEF) analyses prospects for the future of the sector in the near terms not only in terms of the impact of the pandemic, which it had in previous reports deemed to have been mixed. While it recognises the media industry experienced a contraction in revenues due to the pandemic, it highlights that it is projected to rebound strongly and grow by more than a quarter by 2025. The forecast is based on one of the latest sector reports from consulting and auditing firm PwC, featuring a study on consumer and advertising spending trends from 53 middle and higher-income countries, encompassing all areas of the media industry, from book publishing and newspapers through traditional TV advertising to VR tech and e-sports. The authors of the PwC analysis predict that some of habits of media consumption formed during the pandemic are likely to become deeply embedded and persist, citing above average growth rate for video games, internet advertising and VR versus losses and declines in traditional video, TV, newspapers and magazines. Unsurprisingly, connectivity is identified as the driver of this in the report. The report also states that live events and experiences, such as concerts,…

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