Online Video Revenue Will Top Box Office by 2021, Says PwC

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Charting the shift in how people access video, professional services network PwC finds that sales for on-demand and subscription online video in the U.K. will overtake sales for DVDs and Blu-ray Discs by 2018. Sales for physical media are in "terminal decline," PwC says, shrinking by 15 percent each year.

An even bigger milestone will occur in 2021 when online video revenues will overtake box office revenues. PwC projects online revenues will hit £1.4 billion that year, with box office at £1.3 billion.

“Demand for internet video shows no signs of slowing down," says Phil Stokes, the U.K. head of entertainment and media for PwC. "While the vast back catalogue of shows is often credited as the reason for subscribing to internet video services, companies have invested heavily in producing original content. Four of the top ten programs watched via subscription video-on-demand in 2015 were original productions showing that for consumers, fresh high-quality content is king.”

In 2016, the U.K. used 17 billion gigabytes of data, which will grow to 41 billion gigabytes by 2021. Online video will play a large part of that rise.

PwC also sees big growth coming to the U.K.'s virtual reality industry, with the number of VR headsets in use expanding to 16 million by 2021. This data comes from PwC's 2017 U.K. Entertainment and Media Outlook, which makes predictions for the coming five years.

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