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PwC predicts global emergence of 'Convergence 3.0' as services' distinctions blur

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MUMBAI: PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2018-22 has predicted global revenues are expected to grow with a CAGR of 4.4 per cent from 2017-22 to $ 2.4 trillion in a digitally-driven world where the distinction between print and digital, video games and sports, wireless and fixed internet access, pay TV and over-the-top (OTT), social and traditional media will blur in what has been described as `Convergence 3.0’.

Explaining the new concept, PwC said that `Convergence 3.0’ is redefining the competitive playing field. Differing from earlier waves of convergence, it’s creating an ever-expanding group of “supercompetitors” and specialized, niche brands that are striving to “secure the engagement and spending of increasingly demanding consumers”.

The fastest growth will be in digitally driven segments, with virtual reality leading the way, followed by over-the-top content (OTT). Esports will be the second fastest-growing segment if it were separated from the overall video games and e-sports segment. By contrast, newspapers and magazines will see declines in revenues to 2022.

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While the sector is largely dominated by Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, PwC said SVOD revenue accounted for 79.6 per cent of OTT revenue in 2017 as niche players increasingly make a dent in the overall business. 

The potential power of artificial intelligence or AI in E&M is further increased by the opportunity to combine it with other emerging technologies, especially virtual reality and augmented reality. Revenues from VR apps, gaming and video, which were US$3.9bn in 2017, are expected to soar more than fivefold by 2022.

The VR revenue is expected to grow at 40.4 per cent CAGR till 2022 in the 10 key markets including US, Japan, China, South Korea, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain. The revenue will be close to $ 170 million.

Even among the most dynamic segments, there are sharp differences among sub-segments. Although the video games and e-sports segment will grow at an overall CAGR of 7.2 per cent, the e-sports component will leap by 20.6 per cent compounded annually. Conversely, global recorded music is projected to rise at a robust 6.1 per cent CAGR, but three of its sub-components – physical, downloads and ringtones/ringbacks – will see significant declines. 

According to Ennèl van Eeden, Global Entertainment & Media Leader, PwC Netherlands: “The story behind the Outlook’s global figures is a near-infinite accumulation of micro-stories, and a dizzying array of different trends, at a territory and segment level. For almost every trend, there’s a counter-trend somewhere among the 15 segments and 53 territories. Also, the pace of change isn’t going to let up: technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality will continue to redefine the battleground. Across all segments, technology is enabling content delivery to become progressively cheaper and more personalised. This heightens the urgency for companies to invest in technologies that will enable them to compete more effectively.”

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The global internet advertising revenue is expected to grow with a CAGR of 8.7 per cent from 2017-22 and will be around $ 345 billion, whereas the broadcast TV advertising revenue will grow by CAGR of 2.3 per cent and reach till $180-200 billion.

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Smartphone data consumption will see a huge spike and will overtake fixed broadband by 2020, according to the PwC report. Smartphone data consumption will reach around 650,000 billion megabytes with a CAGR of 33.3 per cent from 2017-22. Whereas the fixed broadband data consumption will grow at a CAGR of 18.8 per cent in the same time span and will reach till 500,000 billion MB. 

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As people continue to change the way they access content across increasingly sophisticated devices, more robust data is required to build a deeper understanding of consumer habits.

Christopher Vollmer, Global Advisory Leader for Entertainment and Media, PwC US, in a statement said: “To succeed in the future that’s taking shape, companies must revisit every aspect of what they do and how they do it. This means going ‘above and beyond’ in how they envision their business, generate revenues, create and organise their capabilities and build and retain trust. And given the pace and scale of change under way, speed is vital. For many companies, the models, assets, practices and capabilities that support their businesses today will simply not be enough in the future. Standing still is not an option.”

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