Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Australian entertainment and media revenues will grow by 22% during the next five years, fractionally ahead of the U.S., UK, France, Germany and Japan which will see a 21% rise. But overall, today’s PwC Entertainment and Media Outlook 2011-2015 finds the Asia-Pacific group of economies, which includes Australia, are projected to leap by 38.6%. “If we are to draw any conclusions from this it is that Australian entertainment and media companies are slow to leverage our geographic advantages,” says David Wiadrowski, PwC head of technology, information, communications and entertainment. “Consumer spending on entertainment and media products and services will reach $248B by 2015 in the Asia-Pacific region. It is time for Australian businesses to think about how best to share in the boom taking place on our doorstep.” PwC forecasts Australian entertainment and media revenues will hit $37.2B by 2015, averaging an annual compoundgr owth rate of 4.1%, despite continuing declines in print circulation and advertising. Total Australian entertainment and media spending grew by 6.5% in 2010, faster than the global average of 5.3% and significantly higher than 2009’s 1.3%. The report suggests Foxtel’s stranglehold on the subscription TV market could be threatened by the rapid expansion of IPTV subscription services, which it predicts will achieve a market share of 27% of homes by 2017, close to the current 30% penetration of pay TV. “This makes IPTV a strong market contender among the boxes vying to control content shown in Australian living rooms,” it says. It also raises a key question: Will IPTV grow the market or replace existing content services? “While we expect IPTV to provide an attractive alternative to the more expensive cable or satellite-delivered subscription TV service, its success will depend on what content IPTV offers. Niche content such as foreign language channels should work well in the IPTV environment.”