‘Sky Is Rising’ Report Shows Entertainment Industry Growing In Revenue, More Diverse Offerings; Online Industry Helping Fuel It

BY Heather Greenfield
April 8, 2019

Washington — A new economic study shows music, video, book and video game industries are all growing both in content being created — and consumed by fans. The Computer & Communications Industry Association released an updated study it commissioned, “The Sky is Rising,” co-authored by researcher Leigh Beadon and analyst and CEO of the Copia Institute Mike Masnick, who is also known for his blog Techdirt. The study finds the amount consumers are spending on entertainment is growing — and that the amount of content offered is also increasing — and increasingly diverse.

Among the findings this year:

  • MUSIC: There is massive growth in streaming music — increasing from 30% to 47% of all recorded music revenue in just the last three years, with $4.8 billion in the US alone in 2018. All other areas of the music industry have continued to grow, often thanks to the internet, including live revenues, performance rights, and merchandise sales.  Live music brought in almost $30 billion last year, and it remains the largest revenue source for music.
  • VIDEO: There has been a revolution in video production from top to bottom. Amateur/semi-professional streaming has become massive. Meanwhile, the number of “original scripted TV shows” available in the U.S. more than doubled, from 210 in 2009 to 496 in 2018 and while 160 of those are streaming only, broadcast and cable all saw major increases as well.
  • MOVIES: In 2009, 3,926 films were released globally. In 2017 that number was 6,106.  Again, the increase is coming from all over the spectrum.  Smaller studios are producing many new films, but “big budget” films (those over $15 million) have increased also, from 139 in 2015 to 171 in 2018. Global box office revenue has increased from $29.4 billion in 2009 to $40.6 billion in 2017. And that’s happening despite growing competition from the internet, TV and elsewhere.
  • BOOKS: The book publishing business is also growing, with greater publisher revenue, and many more books (print, e-book and audio) being released.  Ease of access also means an explosion in self-publishing, with over a million self-published books being published in 2017, up from 111,359 self-published books in 2009.
  • VIDEO GAMES: The global games market reached $137.9 billion in 2018, nearly double its size in 2012, which is larger than the global movie and recording industries combined.  The U.S. market is similarly growing, hitting $43.3 billion in 2018. The audience for video games is also getting bigger, with estimates that there were around 2.34 billion active gamers worldwide in 2018, and in the U.S. two thirds of the population now plays video games. Revenues from live streaming and e-sports content have grown from $4.4 billion in 2016 to $5.2 billion in 2018, with some major e-sports tournaments achieving audience numbers rivaling major sporting events.

The following can be attributed to study author Mike Masnick:

“Our study finds that the amount of content produced and consumed continues to grow at an  unprecedented rate. All parts of these industries are on the upswing — even those that may have struggled through a transformative period. That upswing is almost entirely because of opportunities created by the internet that have allowed more people and companies to create and distribute content — as well as to monetize that content.”

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

“We commissioned the first study in this series years ago because we wanted to get beyond the debate of whether the internet is saving or harming creative industries and look at the numbers so we could know whether copyright is working as it should to incentivize creators. Technology has lowered barriers to entry in many creative markets and we are glad to see that the amount of content being produced and consumed is more diverse and growing faster than ever. We don’t doubt that the internet has a democratizing impact allowing artists to reach customers directly, which changes the distribution dynamic for expensive middlemen. While it may cut into the profits of other businesses that once controlled distribution of music, movies and books, the numbers show supply and demand for entertainment is higher than ever.”

For media inquiries, please contact: Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org

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