Mixed news for Hollywood today in investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson’s widely followed annual prognostications for industry spending. Total domestic revenues for the businesses that VSS lumps under entertainment will grow an average of 2.9% a year to reach $97.2B in 2015, according to the newly released VSS Communications Industry Forecast 2011-15. That’s up from the 1% annual average increase from 2005 to 2010. But box office sales will slow: Ticket buyers will spend $11.3B in 2015 as sales improve 1.3% a year vs the five years ending in 2010, when the industry saw annual growth of 3.8%. Meanwhile home video will continue to decline to $17.7B — the 2.7% annual drop at least will be slower than the 4.6% yearly decline from 2005 to 2010. The biggest lift within the category comes from spending on TV programming. It will rise 5.4% a year to $42.1B in 2015. Recorded music will keep sinking to $6.1B in 2015, an average of -2.2% a year vs. -11.1% over the last five years. But VSS says that digital sales will finally lead to an uptick in 2014.
Separately, VSS says that broadcast TV will benefit from the addition of retransmission consent revenues. Outlays will grow 3.9% a year from $47.2B in 2011 — a nice pickup after the industry’s 0.8% annual average over the last five years. But pay TV — which for VSS includes cable networks as well as cable and satellite distributors — will see a slowdown. Spending will grow 7.6% a year to 2015, when it will reach $235.8B, in contrast to the 8.1% average leading up to 2010. VSS says that the increase will come from rising subscription fees and spending on DVRs, VOD, and games even though there will be “no meaningful increase in subscriber volume.”
VSS says total domestic spending on communications, expected at $1.12 trillion this year, will rise an average of 5.5% through 2015, outpacing the growth of the overall economy. The company delayed the release of this year’s report to factor in the 3Q economic downturn. The company plans to update its predictions in early 2012.