Canadians to double data consumption in next five years: PwC

Canadian video game and esports revenue are two of the areas earmarked for growth in PwC's Global Entertainment and Media Outlook.

Canadians are expected to double their data consumption in the next five years, according to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook.

While the outlook predicts Canada’s total revenue for the industry will remain stable at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% over the next five years – the same as last year – it projects staggering growth for data consumption, internet access, over the top (OTT) services, and esports, with more modest growth in cinema, music, and internet advertising.

PwC anticipates total data consumption in Canada doubling to 77.4 trillion in 2023 from 31.9 trillion MB in 2018, increasing at a 19.4% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate).

5G to shift consumption habits

With 5G on the horizon, PwC says fixed and mobile internet penetration will increase slightly over the forecast period at a 7.36% CAGR, however the introduction of the new spectrum will shift how people consume data. 5G will enable more streaming of high-quality video, including live events like sports and music, and better use of AI.

“5G’s impact will be felt across the entire technology, media and telecommunications value chain for the next decade not only in Canada but around the world,” said John Simcoe, Media and Telecom Leader, PwC Canada. “It will make it easier, more convenient and cheaper for Canadians to access more media on phones and other mobile devices and provide a better opportunity for broadcasters to connect with audiences wherever they are.”

OTT and esports revenue growth projected

The PwC report says Canadian OTT video revenue will increase at a 10.7% CAGR from $1.6 billion USD in 2018 to $2.7 billion in 2023.

With 25 online TV services currently operating in Canada and Netflix garnering a market share of over 70%, the report says companies like Bell, Rogers and Telus are poised to capitalize on Canadians appetite for VOD streaming content. The number of subscription OTT viewers is expected to reach 18 million this year.

Canadian video game and esports revenue is forecast to reach $2.8 billion USD by 2023, increasing at a 5.5% CAGR. Canadian esports revenue is expected to grow at a 14.5% CAGR from $19 million USD in 2018 to $37 million in 2023.

The fastest-growing and most-substantial segment of Canada’s esports market comes from media rights revenue, which will more than double in the forecast period to $11 million USD (23.9% CAGR).


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