The EU's Digital Shift: 10 facts about media and content industries

'The Dynamics of Media and Content Industries' is the rather racy title of the European Commission's international conference taking place this very instant (well, yesterday and today, during working hours).  Its aim is to present the results of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) research into media and content industries within the context of EU policies. The topics under discussion range from 'the rocky road to digital media worlds' to 'the changing nature of competition in the ecosystem' (titles that the fictional Director of Communications Stewart Pearson of the 'Thick of It' would swoon over).  This Kat's interest was piqued by Jean Paul Simon's draft report 'Changing Modes of Asset Management: IPR and Copyright in the Digital Age. A Complementary Report', but before any of the Kat's get their claws into it or any other issues discussed at the conference, she thought she would provide the IPKat readers with '10 facts about media and content industries', as compiled by the ever industrious and well-meaning European Commission, as it seeks to engage the citizens of Europe with its efforts 'to unlock the full potential of this sector'.
'1. Digitization has increased book sales. Expenditure on electronic books almost doubled each year in 2006-2010 but still amounts to only 3% of global book sales.

Forecasts however predict that revenues from e-books in 2008–2014 will go from less than 1% to nearly 9% in the five largest European markets, from less than 1% to around 17% in the US and from 2% to around 8% in Japan.

2. The internet has become the second preferred choice for news consumption after television.

Print remains the main revenue driver for newspaper publishers. Although digital advertising income has increased, it amounted to only 7% globally in 2010.

3. On average, 70% of recorded music consumed in the USA, UK, France and Germany (four of the largest music markets worldwide) is consumed through the internet or other digital platforms.

However, revenues from digital sources in these countries account for only 35% of the total of recorded music sales.

4. Digital spending (acquisition of media products in digital format) tripled from 2006 to 2010 worldwide and is growing steadily, although it still represents a low share of global sales.

Recorded music has the biggest share, with 30% of its global sales being digital in 2010.

5. The European publishing industry is the largest in the world and encompasses a total of 83,472 firms.

The largest sub-sectors in terms of number of firms are book publishers (31,813 or 38.1%) and journal and magazine publishers (18,975 or 22.7%). Newspapers publishers is the smallest sub-sector, with only 9,006 firms in the EU27 (less than 11% of the total).

6. The general decline in the sales of printed press did not coincide with digitization.

In most cases it started earlier due to changing patterns of consumption and may also be the result of a more competitive market with reduced profit margins and decreasing prices.

7. While general expenditure between 1997 and 2012 on advertising show an average growth of 37%, newspaper advertising showed an average negative growth of -7.8%.

This indicates that the newspaper sector is witnessing a more structural and serious decline in advertising income, whereas the decline in TV and internet advertising revenues is probably mainly a result of shrinking advertising budgets due to the economic crisis and not to decreasing audiences or shifts in advertising budgets to other media.

8. In the media and content sector power has shifted from the production of content to its distribution.

The total sector (global telecoms, media and technology) accounts for 920 billion euros and saw an average yearly increase of 8% between 2006 and 2010. Growth in the content sector is slower, at an average of 4.9% per year.

9. The EU is reducing its leading position in the overall media landscape.

It had five companies in the top 15 media companies in the world in 1988, four in 1998 and only three in 2008.

10. The internet sector is expected to grow at a compound rate of 13% up to 2015.

Society is moving toward a five-screen world: TV, PC, game consoles, and mobile devices (smartphones or tablets). Mobile became a significant way to distribute games, news, music and is one the fastest growing platforms to provide such contents and assorted services.'
Admittedly not as exciting as the AmeriKat's post on the Max Planck Institute's top 12 reasons why the unitary patent proposals are of concern, available here, but interesting nonetheless.
The EU's Digital Shift: 10 facts about media and content industries The EU's Digital Shift: 10 facts about media and content industries Reviewed by Kate Manning on Friday, October 26, 2012 Rating: 5

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