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Australia's entertainment sector set to enter “golden age”, with growth of interactive gaming and tablet devices to skyrocket

Monday, 1 August 2011 | By Michelle Hammond
Australia’s media and entertainment industry has been dubbed a “golden age” for consumers, with a new report highlighting the future growth of interactive gaming and tablet devices.


According to the latest edition of PwC’s annual entertainment and media outlook, the industry will grow by 22.2% over the next five years, from $30.45 billion in 2010 to $37.2 billion in 2015.


The report reveals interactive gaming will experience the strongest growth, rising by 10.7% to $1.8 billion this year and posting a five-year compound annual growth rate of 9.5%.


PwC predicts the interactive games sector will turn over $2.5 billion in 2015.


While the growth rate of the internet sector has slowed, it is expected to be the second fastest growing part of the media and entertainment industry this year and across the five-year period.


Internet spending by consumers and marketers is tipped to rise by 9.6% to $8.8 billion this year and grow to $11.5 billion in 2011, giving it a five-year compound annual growth rate of 7.4%.


Consumer spending on internet products and services is expected to grow from $5.8 billion in 2010 to $7.2 billion in 2015.


David Wiadrowski, PwC head of technology, information, communications and entertainment, says all sectors are undergoing a cultural transformation as they adjust to the digital world.


“We are in a golden age for consumers as entertainment and media organisations look to find new models to meet the needs of empowered consumers who are increasingly time-poor but digital-savvy,” Wiadrowski says.


The report highlights the increasingly important role electronic tablet devices will play in the future, predicting the number of tablets in Australia to soar from 750,000 to $5.5 million in 2015.


According to the report, tablet devices are “more than a flash in the pan” and are becoming a mainstream product in many households, largely due to Apple’s iPad.


“By rethinking the way people can interact with its products and stressing ease of use over feature counts, Apple has addressed weaknesses in products such as netbooks,” the report says.


“[Apple has] created a product attractive to a class of consumers who would have never otherwise seen a computer as a desirable purchase.”


A PwC survey of 1,500 people conducted in March – before Apple released the iPad 2 – found tablet devices were mainly used to send and receive emails, surf the internet, play games, listen to music and use social networking sites.


More than 25% of respondents said they also used their devices to read books and newspapers, and watch movies and television programs.


About half of the people surveyed said they had paid for the games, books, movies and TV programs they had consumed on their tablet devices.