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Entertainment Future of TV Cinema

Global streaming subscriptions surge 100,000 to 1.3 billion in 2021


By John Glenday, Reporter

March 15, 2022 | 3 min read

An expected post-pandemic tail off in the number of streaming service subscribers shows no sign of materializing in the latest figures compiled by the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

TV streaming

The streaming sector continues to boom / Adobe Stock

  • The streaming sector continues to boom, with the total number of global subscribers increasing by 100,000 from 2020 to reach 1.3 billion in 2021. The US market recorded the same percentage surge, rising 14% to 353.2 million streamers.

  • The streaming success story was matched by a resurgent theatrical and home entertainment market, which has now surpassed its pre-pandemic condition with revenues of $99.7bn in 2021.

  • 14% is the magic number in the MPA’s Theatrical and Home Entertainment Market Environment Report, that being the increase in the combined theatrical and home/mobile entertainment sector across the US as it reached $36.8bn in 2021. The figure repeats for the global home and mobile entertainment market, which rose proportionately to reach $78.5bn.

  • Underpinning much of this growth is an on-fire digital market, which increased 11% in the US and 24% internationally.

Productions scramble to keep pace with demand

  • The insatiable demand for entertainment saw 950 US films enter production in 2021, a 111% increase on 2020.

  • In tandem, 1,826 original series were released in 2021, including 559 scripted original series – a 15% increase from 2020.

  • Online services also produced 179 original films released exclusively to their platforms in 2021, equivalent to 2020.

Global box office still below pre-pandemic levels

  • The global box office reached $21.3bn in 2021, up 81% from 2020 but remained below pre-pandemic levels

  • The top three markets outside North America are China ($7.3bn), Japan ($1.5bn) and the UK ($0.8bn).

  • Marking the 100th anniversary of the MPA, chairman, chief executive officer and chief booster Charles Rivkin said: “We are just getting started in writing the next chapter of our industry as streaming continues to boom, theaters are rebounding, and the overall global market for our entertainment product recovers and breaks records. Our members are the most innovative companies on earth. Their capacity to bring people together through the timeless magic of extraordinary stories will continue to captivate billions of viewers over the next 100 years.”

  • Streaming’s success comes as services overcome their customer experience issues and begin to embrace shoppable TV.

Entertainment Future of TV Cinema

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