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UK entertainment and media sector to grow by £8 billion in next four years

Figures part of PWC's annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report

The UK’s entertainment and media sector is predicted to be worth £76 billion by 2022 according to new research by analysts PwC.

The market is predicted to grow by £8 billion over the next four years, making the UK the second largest market in EMEA, after Germany.

According to PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report, the UK will account for a third of all Western European internet advertising spend; is now Europe’s largest video games maker and will see a surge in podcast listening, reaching 27 million by 2022.

Consumer spending on internet access will bring in the most revenue over the forecast period rising from £13.7 billion this year to £17 billion by 2022, a 6 per cent CAGR. PwC also predicts smartphone ownership in the UK will rise to more than 70 million, meaning mobile internet access is forecast to account for more than half of overall internet access revenue in four years time. Mobile is also predicted to account for half of all internet browsing.

According to the report, the UK’s virtual reality sector is the fastest growing entertainment and media segment with 34 per cent CAGR forecast over the next four years. With more than 7.8 million VR headsets forecast to be cumulatively sold in the UK by 2022, PwC said it expects the virtual reality industry will be worth £1.2 billion.

Esports is also forecast to see a growth of 21 per cent CAGR over the next four years with total revenue growing from £24 million in 2018 to £48 million.

Other key predictions within the report include: UK consumers will remain the biggest spenders on over-the-top video (OTT), streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime than any country in Europe- £1.9 billion by 2022.

Mark Maitland, UK head of entertainment and media at PwC, said: “We see the UK’s entertainment and media sectors making a strong contribution to economic growth over the next four years. The main drivers of growth will be the technology and digital companies, which are redefining the competitive playing field to the point where the borders that once separated media, technology and telecoms are dissolving to create a third revolution of convergence.”

“What makes this different from earlier waves is the role of the ever-expanding group of supercompetitors at the same time as strengthening of specialised niche brands striving to engage and earn the spend of demanding consumers.”