Media to watch in 2019

TMT Predictions

Radio: Revenue, reach, and resilience

Readers may scoff at our robust predictions for radio: “That can’t be right … nobody listens to radio anymore.” But radio has been routinely underestimated. It’s the iconic voice that whispers in our ear, plays background music at dinner, or entertains us while driving. It’s not pushy or prominent—but it is always there.

Deloitte Global predicts that global radio revenue will reach US$40 billion in 2019, a 1 percent increase over 2018. Its weekly reach will remain nearly ubiquitous, with over 85 percent of adults in the developed world listening to radio at least weekly. Worldwide, nearly 3 billion people will tune in every week, listening to an average of 90 minutes a day, about the same as in the prior year. And unlike some other forms of traditional media, radio will continue to perform relatively well with younger demographics.

Just when print newspapers and TV are wrestling with lower viewership and uncertain revenue streams, radio has defied the odds in the digital world. Though it’s admittedly old school, radio’s reach, revenue, and resilience look surprisingly strong.

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Does TV sports have a future? Bet on it.

It may be unsurprising that young men watch a lot of sports on TV, or that they watch more sports than women do, or that many gamble on sports. What is new is how frequently some of them gamble, and how close the relationship is between gambling frequency and watching more TV sports. This relationship could make TV viewing more resilient than expected—and boost overall TV-watching statistics among younger demographics, slowing the decline or even providing a floor.

Deloitte Global predicts that in 2019, 60 percent of North American men aged 18–34 who watch sports on TV will also bet on sports—and the more often they bet, the more they’ll watch. The two industries, at least as far as this demographic is concerned, are not sitting in isolation, and broadcasters, distributors, and advertisers would do well to further examine the correlation. Betting on sports makes up 40 percent of the roughly half-trillion-dollar (USD) global gambling industry, or around US$200 billion per year. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that companies that make and distribute TV sports should talk more to, partner with, or even acquire sports betting businesses—or vice versa.

The report takes a closer look at these and 15 additional predictions about TV viewing in general, TV sports watching, and the relationship between sports betting and TV sports watching.

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TV sports and betting

On your marks, get set, game! eSports and the shape of media in 2019

The eSports phenomenon—competitive online video games with a professional league structure—is big and growing fast. Although the eSports industry is still young, it represents a confluence of contemporary digital services, user behaviors, and social networks that is reshaping media. And it offers traditional broadcasters access to a demographic of younger digital natives who are less engaged with TV and professional sports than were previous generations.

Deloitte Global predicts that in 2019, the eSports market in North America will expand by 35 percent. In the same year, analysts expect reported revenues from the global eSports market to reach US$1 billion, driven by advertising, broadcast licensing, and franchise sales. In 2018, overall eSports revenue saw a considerable boost from introduction of the first North American franchise leagues, with investors paying up to US$20 million to launch a league team. In 2019, existing leagues will expand, and new leagues could launch under other top game titles, all generating significant revenue for leading game companies.

The rise of online gaming, social networks, and social streaming speaks to a deep human need; as always, people want to engage with entertainment in community, whether physical or virtual. And eSports is one driver of the migration away from subscription TV, especially for digital natives. Broadcast and cable TV could reach younger generations by developing content around eSports – but they might be better served by taking lessons from the video game platforms that power them.

For better and worse, media entertainment is becoming a participatory social experience, less something one consumes and more something that one does. It’s time for traditional media companies to get on board with getting online.

Read the full prediction for eSports

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