Global Subscriptions to Online Video Services Exceeds One Billion for First Time Ever

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In a year when the COVID-19 global pandemic kept people around the world mostly at home, the global home/mobile entertainment market grew to new heights. For the first time ever, according to a new report released today by the Motion Picture Association, subscriptions to online video services in 2020 surpassed one billion, reaching 1.1 billion globally, a 26 percent year-over-year growth. In its totality, the global home/mobile entertainment market reached $68.8 billion USD in global revenue, marking a 23 percent increase over 2019. In the United States, subscriptions reached 308.6 million, representing a 32 percent growth from 2019, and the home/mobile market increased 21 percent, reaching $30 billion.

The surge in the digital entertainment market helped partially offset the decrease in the global box office caused by theater closures during the pandemic. The global theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market, in turn, reached $80.8 billion USD last year, representing an 18 percent decrease from 2019, further reflecting the pandemic’s impact on the industry.

“Despite the challenges to the global economy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the film television, and streaming industry has once again risen to the occasion,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “Streaming experienced another huge boom, with new entrants into the market and more than one billion subscriptions worldwide for the first time ever. We kept audiences connected and entertained wherever they were and whenever they desired. Theatrical and home entertainment remain two essential parts of this dynamic and iconic industry, and I am confident that movie theaters will experience a great comeback in the months ahead.”

The Motion Picture Association’s 2020 THEME Report provides a comprehensive analysis and survey of the theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market. This annual report includes in-depth data into how the film, television, and streaming industry performed during the year, as well as audience demographic information.

In addition to the home/mobile entertainment findings listed above, other notable findings in the THEME Report include:

  • During the pandemic period of 2020, 55 percent of U.S. adults reported that their viewing of movies or shows/series through an online subscription service increased, while 46 percent reported that their viewing via pay TV increased.
  • More than 85 percent of children and more than 55 percent of adults watch movies or shows/series on mobile devices.
  • Daily viewers of movies or shows/series on mobile devices skew more heavily towards the 18-24 and 25-39 year-old age groups, as well as the Hispanic/Latino and African-American/Black ethnicity groups.

The global box office market for all films around the world was $12 billion USD in 2020; Within that number, the U.S./Canada box office market was $2.2 billion.

This year’s THEME Report notes that making comparisons between country box office totals is a challenging endeavor given the varying pandemic-related, local regulations, including cinema closures, re-opening schedules, and postponements of local releases. Under those differing parameters, the top three box office markets outside the U.S. and Canada were China ($3 billion USD), Japan ($1.3 billion USD), and France ($500 million USD).

In the United States and Canada, 162 million people (46 percent) went to the cinema at least once in 2020. Per capita attendance was highest among the 12-17 age group and among the Hispanic/Latino ethnicity category.

For a complete version of the report, please click here.

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