“Sky is Rising” Entertainment Industry Economic Report Shows More Creative Output, Opportunities For Creators

BY Heather Greenfield
October 23, 2014

Washington – A new report finds online services and tools for distribution are fueling more creative opportunities and content than ever before. The Computer & Communications Industry Association released a study it commissioned, “The Sky is Rising,” co-authored by Mike Masnick, who writes about technology policy for Techdirt and is founder and CEO of Floor 64. The economic report on entertainment has found growth in sales and availability of online video, music and ebooks, and that this increased growth of content has brought more competition.

Too often we hear predictions of doom and gloom for various entertainment formats, but “The Sky is Rising” demonstrates there are actually more opportunities for creators than ever before. That’s important because the purpose of copyright law has always been to incentivize creativity.

Among the findings this year: (also to see infographic that will be on the cover of the final report Thursday click here)

  • Music: Legal digital music consumption continues to grow, with users streaming more than 118 billion tracks in 2013. Total music transactions reached record highs in 2011 and 2012, with legal downloads of current releases growing by 9.1% that year.
  • Video: Projections showing a steady increase in the U.S. video sector, driven by online services, estimated to exceed $36 billion by 2017. The global and domestic box offices continue to break records; international returns exceeded $35 billion in 2013 according to the MPAA, up 20% over 2009.
  • Books: The ebook explosion continues, growing from $64 million in 2008 to more than $3 billion in sales in 2012, with independent and self-published authors contributing to the growth. Even as total book market revenues are down, U.S. printed title production has tripled over recent years.
  • Games: While total gaming sales fell off during the economic downturn, games grew from $79 billion to $93 billion between 2012 and 2013, and forecasts continue to look up. Estimates suggest even brighter futures for mobile game revenues, which tripled from 2011 to 2013, reaching between $1.78 and $3 billion, depending on the estimate.

The following can be attributed to study author Mike Masnick:

“For consumers this has brought an abundance from new ways to watch TV and movies to record numbers of musical works being produced and available. Having more tools to both make and distribute content has brought more competition, and big legacy companies that have embraced Internet tools have fared better than others. All too often, the debate over these issues is framed as the technology industry ‘against’ the content industry, and the economic picture shows that’s just not accurate. The market growth in these content industries shows tremendous opportunities for both creators and consumers – so the sky is indeed still rising.”

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We’re seeing more creativity, more opportunities, and more money in the entertainment sector. Even as new innovations disrupt the established incumbents, the numbers show that a growing pie benefits creators and consumers alike.  Knowing more about how this sector is growing, who is succeeding, and why can only help the ongoing debate as the US considers copyright reform and adds copyright language to trade agreements.”

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