The digital arm of the Irish entertainment and media industry will see strong growth over the next five years, a report released yesterday by PwC predicts.
In Ireland the sector is expected to grow by a rate of 3.5pc over the next five years, while globally the industry is expected to grow by 5.7pc.
Consumer demand for new digital experiences is increasing and becoming the norm, according to the PwC global entertainment and media outlook 2011-2015. The report says the industry has been profoundly changed as consumers move online thanks to an increase in android devices such as the iPhone.
While the economic conditions in Ireland remain uncertain, the entertainment and media industry here will lag behind the global recovery, according to the report.
"The year 2010 saw a further decline in the value of the overall market in Ireland, albeit at a lower level than in 2009.
''This was driven by a further decline in advertising spending, while consumer spending, the other part of the industry, grew, driven largely by internet access spending," the report says.
Growth in spending on internet access has not been impacted by the recession and is expected to continue growing at double-digit levels over the next five years.
Both internet access and internet advertising spending will experience double-digit compound average growth rates of 10.4pc and 11pc respectively over the period 2011-15.
Video games and television subscriptions will also experience continued growth, with platform innovations as well as a continuous flow of new content in each area.
The advertising market in 2010 was valued at ¿1.23bn, a decline of 7pc from 2009. The market is expected to be flat in 2011, before returning to modest growth in 2012.
Overall, the advertising market in Ireland is expected to grow at an average of 2.3pc over the next five years.
"The continuing shift towards digital platforms and digital distribution of content at a global level presents considerable opportunities for Ireland and companies based here -- from indigenous start-ups to multinationals.
"Disruptive technologies and innovative approaches to content generation and distribution will continue to emerge, and Ireland needs to do all it can to encourage and support companies and ideas in this area, given the opportunities that exist on a global scale in this industry," says Bartley O'Connor of PwC.
The whole entertainment and media industry is being driven to create experiences that engage today's empowered consumer, by redesigning the content experience to be multi-purpose and multi-platform which, in turn, creates multiple opportunities for monetisation, the report concludes.