MPAA Announces Record Earnings in Global Entertainment

The Motion Picture Association of America revealed that the global entertainment market reached $96.8 billion in 2018, 9 percent over 2017 and a new record. Most notable was the growth of streaming video, 27 percent over 2017 to 613.3 million global subscriptions. Cable subscriptions, meanwhile, dropped 2 percent to 556 million subscribers, marking the first time that streaming bested cable (although cable still earns more money). Theatrical box office in the U.S. and Canada grew to $11.9 billion, while the overall global box office grew to $41.1 billion.

The Verge reports, globally, home entertainment hit $55.7 billion and consumers spent $96.8 billion on entertainment. Digital home entertainment showed particular growth, with a 24 percent bump in the U.S. and 34 percent globally. Sales of physical media dropped in the U.S. and internationally, by 15 percent and 14 percent respectively.

According to the MPAA, streaming services added 131.2 million new subscriptions in 2018. Cable subscriptions, however, will still “rake in the most money, increasing in 2018 by $6.2 billion to $118 billion.” Satellite TV takes the No. 2 spot in revenue, with streaming coming in as No. 3.

Eighty percent of U.S. viewers watch cable TV, with 70 percent watching streaming services. But the report also pointed out that, “online streaming video is still growing,” especially as Apple, Disney and NBCUniversal enter the streaming market.

TV programming takes up the lion’s share of what it calls views/transactions, which refers to “views from subscription services and digital transactions” and ad-supported viewing. In 2018, there were 170.6 billion views/transactions for TV, and 11.5 billion for film, “a massive increase” from four years prior.

An FX Networks Research report stated that, “since 2014, scripted dramas across all channels have grown by 28 percent to 496 in 2018,” including “1,620 programs when daytime drama, children’s programming, and unscripted shows were included.” With regard to theatrical, people spent $41.1 billion, up from $40.5 billion the year before. That doesn’t include international markets, however, where “spending dropped slightly, from $29.4 billion to $29.2 billion.”

The decrease in spending took place in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, whereas Asian markets — especially China — grew. China became the No. 3 market for film, after the U.S. and Canada. With regard to 3D films, the market has seen a 20 percent drop, to numbers below 2014.