Consumers shelled out $2.14 trillion on media content and technology globally in 2021, for a 6.7% increase. That’s the quickest growth in five years, according to PQ Media, and the second consecutive year of faster than normal annual growth.
The acceleration, PQ Media says, was fueled by double-digit increases in spending on digital audio, streaming video, digital news, online gaming services, and in-theater movie tickets, which rebounded sharply from the record decline in 2020 caused by the pandemic lockdowns.
Global consumer spending on overall media content grew 11.6% in 2021 to $854.96 billion, while total media-related tech spending rose 3.7% to $1.284 trillion. Digital media content was the fastest-growing overall segment, surging 15.1% to $585.49 billion in 2021. Traditional media content made a sharp turnaround from a record decline in 2020 to post a 4.6% gain to $269.47 billion last year, fueled by a 17% increase in movie ticket sales, following the unprecedented 46% drop in 2020, PQ Media says.
The U.S. remained the largest consumer media and tech market with total spending of $500.59 billion in 2021, followed by China ($290.44 billion), Japan ($198.72 billion), India ($101.77 billion), and the UK ($100.09 billion).
“While the overall gain in consumer media and technology spending in 2021 was a strong acceleration from the 4.7% increase in 2020, we expect growth to begin decelerating in 2022 and lose even more steam during the 2023-2025 period, as many of the pandemic-triggered forces that sparked the consumer spending surge in 2020 began to fade in 2H 2021,” PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn said in a release. “Our research indicates the pandemic briefly interrupted key secular trends in 2020 and 1H 2021, but that this was simply a short-term disruption of long-term patterns that have resumed in 2022 and will continue through 2025. Among these are decelerating growth or declines in major traditional and digital media segments impacted by device penetration reaching saturation in top global markets, such as smartphones, wireless access plans, computer tablets, cable TV and broadband internet access.”