2023 looks set to be a sensational year for the media industry, with many exciting innovations at the forefront. However, we can’t forget the challenges the industry in 2022, including Global Events, from the easing of pandemic restrictions, through a war in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis and the threat of a recession – all presenting significant challenges to the media industry.
YouGov has released its annual report, taking a look back at how 2022 has changed the industry while making some suggestions on what 2023 might hold.
Digital media continued its rapid growth through 2022, with “95% of surveyed consumers using websites and apps and a further 88% engaging frequently” (https://business.yougov.com/sectors/media-content/global-media-outlook-report-2022) with social media. Not only does digital media enjoy “massive market penetration”, but usage has also been swelling in the past year, with “39% increasing their use of digital platforms”. YouGov predicts these trends will continue into next year
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has contributed to the accelerated growth in the amount of video streaming in the past 12 months as millions of people went online for their entertainment. Across international markets, 2/5 of consumers surveyed stated they had increased the amount of content they streamed in 2022, and just under a third indicated they would be streaming more content in 2023.
Over the last year, if we have learnt anything, it’s that long-term success in streaming requires establishing a durable subscriber relationship. Building on the long and tested success of the cable television model, nearly all media companies that are active in the SVoD arena today are now aiming to offer consumers a bundled offering of streaming content and other services.
Along with boosting sign-ups and reducing churn, bundles allow media companies to improve their efficiency in marketing spend and technology investment. Consumers benefit by paying a lower price compared with having several separate subscriptions.
Regional sports network (RSN) revenues are facing significant pressure globally as subscriber counts decline due to consumers leaving and being dropped from pay-TV operators, who are choosing to drop the networks rather than pass along pricey fees to customers.
Over the year, we will see many professional sports teams and leagues explore DTC streaming.
Cinemas this year have seen a strong recovery following the pandemic, however, box office revenue is over 30% below annual totals in pre-pandemic years, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
Studios are having to think more closely about which films are theatrically released, and which release on their streaming platforms. Action, Superhero, Drama, RomCom and so on, all have vastly different budgets, marketing plans and audience reach.
As a result, cinema owners are going to have to rethink their offerings and financial models to account for fewer theatrical releases. Many large cinema operators are having to shrink their cinema portfolios to align with current market realities.
In the coming years, it will be vital for studios to align their release calendars to ensure a steady supply of films hit the cinemas.
For 2023, all signs point to another year of excitement and growth for the media industry. These trends – and many other smaller trends – will require businesses to make bold moves to survive and thrive in this new era of entertainment.