Predicting the Future of Media and Entertainment
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Visualizing the Future of Media and Entertainment
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Over your lifetime, the consumption of media and entertainment has already changed drastically.
For Boomers and Gen Xers, the shift has been earth-shattering. Both generations will remember a time before mainstream computing when TV was dominated by the Big Three TV networks (NBC, ABC, and CBS), and newspapers and magazines were the main way to stay in touch with what was happening.
Even millennials have seen fundamental shifts in consumption of media. After all, they experienced the rise of social media, online news, streaming, and digital video firsthand. Many of them will remember their college getting access to Facebook for the first time, the death of Napster, and the funny sounds their 28.8k modem made as it struggled to successfully download a single image file.
The modern landscape of media is very different than it was back then – and the coming years will see even more prolific changes.
The Future of Media and Entertainment
Today’s infographic comes to us from Raconteur, and it showcases multiple sets of data that help to illustrate the direction that media is heading. This includes the growth rates of various media and entertainment sectors, TV viewing trends, and social media use.
Here are some of the key trends that we found to be compelling:
Annualized Media Sector Growth (Minus GDP Growth) from 2016-2021
|Media sector||Annual Growth (minus GDP growth)|
|Out-of home Ads||-1.7%|
Online video (6.0%), online ads (4.3%), and video gaming (2.7%) are the only sectors growing at a rate faster than GDP growth.
But while digital video use is growing, it’s not going to takeover TV anytime soon:
Daily Minutes Watching TV vs. Digital Video
|Year||TV (Minutes watched)||Digital Video (Minutes Watched)|
Lastly, here are some figures on the future of media and entertainment that are particularly interesting:
- By 2021, Cisco says that 82% of all internet traffic will stem from digital video
- There will be 26.3 million VR headsets shipped in 2022, up from 100,000 in 2016
- The eSports market will jump 152% in size by 2021
- By 2021, there will be 650 million subscribers to services like Amazon Prime or Netflix
- 5G latency is expected to be 0.001 seconds, which is 15-60x faster than 4G
It’s fair to say that in another decade, media and entertainment will be much less recognizable than what it looks like today.
Charting Revenue: How The New York Times Makes Money
This graphic tracks the New York Times’ revenue streams over the past two decades, identifying its transition from advertising to subscription-reliant.
When it comes to quality and accessible content, whether it be entertainment or news, consumers are often willing to pay for it.
Similar to the the precedent set by the music industry, many news outlets have also been figuring out how to transition into a paid digital monetization model. Over the past decade or so, The New York Times (NY Times)—one of the world’s most iconic and widely read news organizations—has been transforming its revenue model to fit this trend.
This chart from creator Trendline uses annual reports from the The New York Times Company to visualize how this seemingly simple transition helped the organization adapt to the digital era.
The New York Times’ Revenue Transition
The NY Times has always been one of the world’s most-widely circulated papers. Before the launch of its digital subscription model, it earned half its revenue from print and online advertisements.
The rest of its income came in through circulation and other avenues including licensing, referrals, commercial printing, events, and so on. But after annual revenues dropped by more than $500 million from 2006 to 2010, something had to change.
|NY Revenue By Year||Print Circulation||Digital Subscription||Advertising||Other||Total|
In 2011, the NY Times launched its new digital subscription model and put some of its online articles behind a paywall. It bet that consumers would be willing to pay for quality content.
And while it faced a rocky start, with revenue through print circulation and advertising slowly dwindling and some consumers frustrated that once-available content was now paywalled, its income through digital subscriptions began to climb.
After digital subscription revenues first launched in 2011, they totaled to $47 million of revenue in their first year. By 2022 they had climbed to $979 million and accounted for 42% of total revenue.
Why Are Readers Paying for News?
More than half of U.S. adults subscribe to the news in some format. That (perhaps surprisingly) includes around four out of 10 adults under the age of 35.
One of the main reasons cited for this was the consistency of publications in covering a variety of news topics.
And given the NY Times’ popularity, it’s no surprise that it recently ranked as the most popular news subscription.
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