Media and content digitization benefits consumers, but revenues lag behind

October 26, 2012

Digital spending - the acquisition of media products in digital format - tripled from 2006 to 2010 worldwide, with the recording music sector now achieving 30% of its global sales in the digital market. The digital success of the music sector contrasts other media and content industries, which are moving at a slower pace towards digital with distribution. Only 6% of film/video, newspapers, magazines and book sales were digital, according to the Joint Research Centre's (JRC) report on "The media and content industries. A quantitative overview", which represents an important contribution to the Commission's recent initiative to boost growth and jobs in the cultural and creative sectors. Sectoral studies on production, distribution, pricing and consumption in cinema, music, newspapers, videogames, book publishing and broadcasting have contributed to this overview, whose findings will be discussed at a conference today in Brussels.

Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Media and content industries are innovative and of great social and economic importance for Europe. Managing and reacting to the challenges of globalisation and the digital shift will be key, and that means new business models that turn these challenges into opportunities. This report provides a valuable insight both for the industries and policy makers and will help us shape the right answers together".

The JRC report explains how new techniques result in efficient distribution, unleash new markets and bring lower costs for the consumer. However, worldwide, industries' only saw their revenues rise slightly up until 2010. The study highlights the increasing interconnection and convergence of the content industries sector with the information and communication technologies sector (ICT - telecom, computer and software industries). The content and ICT industries together are growing globally, for the period 2006-2010 at an annual rate of 8.4%, while the content sector grew at a rate of 4.9%.

The research is based on the most up-to-date official statistics (Eurostat data for EU Member States, the OECD and national statistical offices) as well as unofficial statistics from a variety of sources that have contributed to a better analysis.

Today and tomorrow, a conference will bring together over 100 international experts from leading firms, trade associations, policy makers and academia. The discussions will provide input to the Commission's efforts to unlock the full potential of this sector.

In the Commission's view, the digital shift offers new opportunities for the content and media industry to recoup investments through the exploitation of new distribution channels and devices. In addition, seizing full advantage of opportunities to distribute media and content cross-borders will be essential to maximise audiences, readers and revenues.

These issues have been addressed through recent Commission initiatives such as our eCommerce Action Plan and will be tackled in a European Commission policy paper on Convergence and Connected TV in the coming months.
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The Joint Research Centre (JRC)

The JRC is the only Commission service in charge of direct research. The centre provides independent scientific and economic support to the Europe 2020 policy priorities in terms of competitiveness, sustainability and grand societal challenges such as health, safety and security.

More information

MEMO/12/805 10 facts about digitization in the media and content industries

JRC report: The media and content industries. A quantitative overview

Event website: http://is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pages/ISG/MCI/conference.html

Agenda: http://is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pages/ISG/MCI/conference.html#agenda

Media and content industry website (sectoral studies): http://is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pages/ISG/MCI.html

Press release "Commission launches strategy to boost growth and jobs in cultural and creative sectors": IP/12/1012

EC Communication on "Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU": http://ec.europa.eu/culture/our-policy-development/documents/communication-sept2012.pdf

European Commission Joint Research Centre

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