Asia media biz to lead growth, PwC predicts

Global outlook report says region will outpace others

NEW YORK -- Led by China and India, growth in Asia's media and entertainment market will outpace growth in the rest of the world and reach a valuation of half a trillion dollars in the next five years, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' annual industry forecast.

PwC's "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook for 2008-12" -- released Monday in Asia -- said the Asia-Pacific region's compound annual growth rate of 8.8% will outpace expansion of the global entertainment and media market, rising from $333 billion in 2007 to $508 billion by 2012.

PwC said Asia's industry growth will be led by double-digit increases in Internet advertising, TV subscriptions and license fees, casino and other regulated gaming, video games and Internet access.

Asian growth would be an even higher 12% a year were it not for Japan's relatively slower growth, the report said.

Entertainment and media spending currently accounts for about 6% of consumer spending in such developed countries as the U.S., Britain and South Korea but for 3% or less in emerging markets, PwC said.

Brazil, Russia, India and China will remain important sources for growth, driven by rising disposable incomes and an increasingly urbanized middle class, the forecast said.

Broadband penetration is likely to expand rapidly worldwide, with global spending via Internet access set to rise at 12.1% compound annual growth to $341 billion in 2012, according to the report.

Internet access spending in Asia is led by Japan, China and South Korea. Wireless upgrades are expected to propel mobile Internet access, which will increase from $27.3 billion in 2007 to $48.8 billion in 2012, reflecting a 12.3% compound annual increase.

Another Asian bright spot is Vietnam, which will be the world's fastest-growing television-subscription and license-fee market over the next five years, growing at 29.3% compounded annually, PwC said.