Film and music set for boom as newspapers feel pinch

Revenue from Irish cinema and live music is set to see double-digit growth after the pandemic, even as streaming and mobile broadband explode.

However, print media will suffer, with newspaper revenue expected to fall 5.1% a year through 2026 and a 7.5% drop in circulation, consultancy PwC said, despite growth in advertisements and digital distribution.

Overall, Irish entertainment and media revenues are expected to grow by 4.5% per year on average until 2026, following global growth of 4.6%.

That could generate around €6.1 billion in revenue here by 2026, up €1.2 billion from 2021, according to PwC’s latest global entertainment and media outlook.

Global entertainment and media revenues reached $2.3 billion (just under €2.3 billion) in 2021.

Better internet access leads to higher incomes, with Ireland now the third fastest growing market in Western Europe, behind Spain and Sweden.

Internet access will increase by just over 6% per year until 2026, with revenues expected to exceed €2 billion at the end of the period, compared to €1.5 billion in 2021.

Mobile is expected to overtake fixed broadband next year, with both generating almost €1 billion in revenue by 2026.

Streaming is growing faster in Ireland than globally, at just over 9% per year on average, compared to 7.6pc globally, although video games and esports are expected to grow more slowly here (5.5pc) than globally (8.5pc).

Box office revenues are expected to recoup pandemic-related losses next year and grow by an average of 22.4% per year until 2026, generating revenues of 150 million euros. Global growth is forecast at 18%.

The news comes a week after the Hammerlake Studios consortium in Mullingar cleared a major planning hurdle, and just months after the S the tate announced that it was backing a 300 million euro studio complex in Wicklow.

According to PwC, live music will grow by 19% per year on average by 2026, with revenues reaching 192.8 million euros.

Irish newspaper revenues are expected to fall from €222.5m last year to €151.5m by 2026.

Digital will overtake print advertising by 2026, growing 4% per year to 63.2 million euros, while print will fall 11.9% to 58 million euros.

Total internet advertising revenue in Ireland is growing at nearly half the global rate.

Amy Ball, partner in PwC Ireland’s entertainment and media practice, said every business in the sector “risks being disrupted” and must “learn to adapt”.