Value of Movies, Music, and Other Digital Content Expected to Increase Nearly 140% by 2026

By Jemima McEvoy Friday, January 8, 2021

With people spending more and more time on electronic devices, it’s no surprise that our consumption of digital content is projected to increase, driving value to the market. Digital content includes movies, music, games, educational materials, digital publications, and more. Already extremely popular, a recent industry report, Global Digital Content Market Size, Status and Forecast 2020-2026, is predicting strong growth going forward — here’s why.

According to the most recent data (which covers 2019), the global digital content market is currently worth $167.37 billion. Though the internet has made it so that content is extremely easy to access — often for free online — innovation on the part of the market’s biggest players has spurred growth and value. For example, Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix’s creation of original content has driven many people to purchase subscriptions to all three separate streaming platforms. Spotify and Apple have ushered in a new era of non-physical music listening. Nintendo and EA have continued to up the ante on the quality of their content. While Facebook, Microsoft, Sony, KONAMI, and more have also been at the helm of innovation and growth in the digital space.

Despite the already competitive landscape, analysts predict a lucrative future to come for the global digital content market. In fact, the aforementioned report, published on Valuates Reports, projects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% through to the end of 2026. This level of growth over the next six years means that the market will be worth $397.39 billion at the end of the time frame, an overall 137.4% increase from today to 2026.

What exactly is driving this growth? Well, it’s a combination of factors, including the rising popularity of certain subsets of the digital content market in certain global regions. Additionally, there’s a general trend toward spending more time online that is projected to positively impact the industry’s worth. “The increase in mobile devices is expected to fuel the digital content creation market size,” explains a news release published in tandem with the report. “Smartphones and other mobile devices make it easier for consumers to access the internet and music & video content in one go.”

The vast majority of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind, according to data from the Pew Research Center. Per the researcher’s survey, 96% of Americans own a cellphone now, and 81% own a smartphone. That number was just 35% during Pew’s first survey in 2011. Furthermore, people are spending more time on their electronic devices than ever before. The average adult consumers five times more information every day than Americans did 50 years ago. In 2019, the average US adult spent three hours and 43 minutes on mobile devices and just above three hours and 35 minutes watching television. Social media companies have reported usage of their sites up exponentially amid the pandemic, and it will be very interesting to see the statistics for electronic device usage for this year when they’re published.

While the increased use of devices may have its downsides, it’s very good news for the digital content market, which cites this as a major factor in its growth. Another reason the market is projected to expand is because of digital transformation across end-user industries. “Increased adoption of digital content creation software applications is one of the key factors expected to drive the growth of the digital content creation market size,” explains the report. “Also, the growing technological advances and product improvements to combine hardware with digital content software applications by manufacturers and software developers are expected to generate substantial business expansion opportunities for existing players.”

The regions expected to hold the largest share of the digital content market are North America and Europe due to increasing consumption rates. There has also been a rise in web content power and increased revenue coming from internet-accessible streaming services. Asia-Pacific is also expected to witness high growth rates during the forecast period because of game app spending, which has been skyrocketing.

It’s important to note as well that growth projected for this market is likely to be heavily exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which, having forced many to spend nearly a year deviating from their regular habits and spending significantly more time at home, has driven significant interest in online digital content. Furthermore, this impact on consumer habits may outlast the pandemic, leading to a potentially even greater valuation of this market by the end of the forecast period.

About the Author


Headshot for author Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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