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02-14-2009, 10:00 AM
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The entertainment biz will remember 2008 as the year when global revenues from digital media exceeded revenue generated by movie theaters and homevideo combined. In its "Global Media & Entertainment Market Forecast, 2004 - 2012," London research firm Strategy Analytics reported that online and mobile channels accounted for $90 billion in worldwide revenues; the global filmed entertainment market generated $83.1 billion.
"We're starting to see now that digital media is becoming a significant part of revenue for a lot of companies," says Strategy Analytics director of digital media research Martin Olausson. "A few years back, everyone was still discussing whether movies would be distributed online. That's not a discussion anymore."
Broadband downloading and streaming, terrestrial and cable video-on-demand (VOD), and mobile platforms are now all ways to watch entertainment content, from feature films and TV shows to made-for-Internet/mobile programming.
For the last few years, the questions have been: Are these viable alternatives to theatrical distribution? How much more content will auds consume on digital platforms? And will such platforms offer new production opportunities and generate fresh revenue streams?
Strategy Analytics' astonishing numbers imply that digital distribution may have already won the day.