BUSINESS

'Traditional' Media Is Anything But Dead In Canada, PwC Report Says

06/03/2015 08:01 EDT | Updated 06/03/2015 08:59 EDT
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Canadians will drive a resurgence in traditional media over the next five years as they continue to seek out shared, live experiences, according to a new forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The consulting firm’s Global entertainment and media outlook 2015-2019, released Wednesday, found that Canadians continue to devote more of their dollars to traditional forms of entertainment than the global average.

Non-digital media will comprise 88 per cent of revenue from consumers in 2019, compared to 80 per cent globally.

“A key feature of this multifaceted environment is the resilience — and in some cases resurgence — of aspects of ‘traditional’ media, including the shared, live experiences that consumers still love,” the report found.

Canadian spending on live music tickets is expected to rise by 3.5 per cent, while spending at the box office is projected to increase by 3.4 per cent, outpacing overall consumer spending growth of 1.9 per cent, PwC found.

“We in Canada love to go to live entertainment and we stand out as a country that does that,” said Lisa Coulman, partner, audit and assurance, adding that part of the reason might be how many Canadian heavy hitters have succeeded in global entertainment.

“In Canada we are still willing to pay for the experience, so we still are seeing that translate into people being willing to pay strong box office prices.”

For years, traditional media outlets from newspapers to cable companies have grappled with shrinking subscriptions and advertising revenue as more consumers moved online and advertisers opt to put their money where the most eyeballs are.

The growth of media options and the convergence of digital and traditional media into a multifaceted selection both makes the distinction between media sources irrelevant and fosters more freedom and choice, PwC said.

That puts consumers in the drivers’ seat.

“Because consumers are demanding an enhanced experience and right now we’re paying for that enhanced experience, it continues to say to the content producers that they’ve really got to focus on the strength of their content,” Coulman said.

As customers seek out more personalized consumption, the emergence of digital media hasn’t resulted in consumers abandoning traditional experiences, PwC added.

“Consumers are engaging readily with content experiences that they can’t get easily elsewhere: hence the enduring appeal of shared, real-life experiences like cinema, live concerts, and sporting events – all of which have not just survived the growth of digital and social media, but have been reenergized by it.”

At the same time, cord-cutting is not happening as quickly as previously expected, partially thanks to “TV everywhere” services and other innovative offerings from cable companies.

Canadian cable penetration is forecast to fall about one percentage point from 80.1 per cent in 2012 to 79.2 per cent in 2019.

On the advertising side, digital revenue is expected to grow by 10.7 per cent over the forecast period, slower than the global average of 12.2 per cent. But growth in non-digital advertising is expected to grow by a much slower 0.6 per cent, though it is still projected to make up about 55 per cent of Canadian ad spending in 2019.

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