A total of 13 media segments, including subscription and advertising across internet, television, radio, newspaper and magazine businesses, in addition to book publishing, recorded music and video games industries were assessed by PwC for its Global Entertainment & Media Outlook report.
The UK is expected to keep its position as the world's fifth biggest media and entertainment market in terms of value by 2015, driven by digital products, though its growth is set to be among the slowest of the mature markets.
Of the 12 countries with adspend in media and entertainment markets above $25bn, only earthquake-affected Japan and developed Germany are expected to experience slower growth than the UK.
China's market is expected to enjoy growth of 11.6% over this period to $148.2bn by 2015. Brazil will see a similar level of growth (11.4%) to $56.7m.
France is tipped for 4% growth annually to a valuation of $80.9bn by 2015; Italy is expected to grow by the same figure to a valuation of $51.3bn while Spain will grow by 4.8% to a 2015 valuation of $33.5bn.
The US, still the largest global media and entertainments market by a considerable distance, is expected to record growth of 4.6% to be worth $555.3bn by 2015.
PwC concluded the next four years would represent a "golden age for the empowered consumer" as the demand for digital experiences increases and becomes the norm.
After shrinking between 2008 and 2009, provisional data supplied in the latest report suggests 2010 witnessed a return to growth for UK media business as a whole, with a sector-wide value of $76.8bn.
This represented a 3.2% bounce-back from the previous year's decline and is expected to set off four years of steady growth.
However, the only segment of the UK market set for double-digit growth over the period will be internet advertising (11.2% annually to 2015) with these revenues representing new sources of income for traditional media owners expanding onto new platforms and devices, the report said.
Globally, PwC said it expected digital to grow from a 25.9% proportion of adspend in 2010 to 33.9% by 2015.
The report stated: "In many markets, including the UK, the entertainment and media industry emerging from the recession has been profoundly changed as the ongoing consumer migration to digital has accelerated, due largely to the technology revolution in devices."
In the UK, PwC predicted that the payment of subscriptions and the licence fee would keep the television industry as the most valuable media sector by 2015 with a value of $14.7bn, an average yearly increase of 4.2% over the four years.
Mobile and fixed internet supply business, the report said, would be marginally behind with an overall valuation of $14.2bn by 2015 after an estimated annual growth of 5.2% in the four previous years.
However, by 2015 internet advertising is expected to be worth $10.8bn annually as the UK’s third most valuable media sector.
PwC’s E&M Outlook concludes that convenience, experience and quality are the key ingredients that matter to consumers when choosing from the menu of content and delivery channels now available.
Alongside these sit participation and privilege. Consumers enjoy playing an active role in shaping their content plus they are happy to pay for privileges which enable them to "jump the queue" to get earlier access to content.
The challenge for companies is reported to be in turning these five attributes – convenience, experience, quality, participation and privilege – into "sustainable, profitable and engaged relationships" with the consumer, by offering advantages which outweigh the attractiveness of free or pirated content.
Phil Stokes, head of entertainment and media at PwC, said: "As consumers choose where to spend both their time and their money the key word for media executives to focus on is relevance.
"Why is their brand relevant to people, why is their content relevant? Ultimately, why will people choose to spend time and money with them rather than their competitors?
"Answering that question requires management focus on the core fundamentals on why that company exists. Action as a result across the industry will include a wave of acquisitions and disposals, innovative collaboration and new business models in order to satisfy the needs of the increasingly powerful customer."
|Top 12 entertainment and media markets (US$ millions)|
|Forecasts: Top 12 entertainment and media markets (US$ millions)|
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Wilkofsky Gruen Associates
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk