By Nat Ives
Magazines may be the media sector most visibly jumping into tablet computers like the iPad, but tablets will affect other major media as well.
Tablets are poised to help U.S. newspapers increase paid digital circulation to 4.6 million in 2015, for example, with most of the growth coming at general interest newspapers, from 1.5 million last year, primarily at the Wall Street Journal, according to annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was released today.
"Distribution of newspapers to tablets on a paid basis will generate a paid digital circulation market as consumers appear to be more willing to pay for content delivered to a tablet than for content available online," PricewaterhouseCoopers wrote. "People are used to paying to access content on their mobile devices, and it seems that they view the convenience of a mobile download as having value separate from the content that is downloaded."
Tablets, working in tandem with smartphones, will open new avenues for TV, too. "Mobile TV rollouts, the launch of apps for mobile TV on tablets and smartphones and growing penetration by smartphones and tablets will expand mobile television usage and advertising," PricewaterhouseCoopers said.
The number of people viewing mobile TV in the U.S. will grow to 52.5 million in 2015 from 17.6 million in 2010, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted. Mobile-TV ad spending in the U.S. will grow to $1.4 billion in 2015 from $370 million last year.
But innovation often transforms things more slowly than we might expect, and in both cases the legacy media businesses will continue to dominate for the coming years. Newspapers’ paid print circulation will decline but continue to swamp paid digital circulation, for example, falling to 35 million in 2015 from nearly 42.6 million last year, PricewaterhouseCoopers said.
Traditional TV ad revenue in the U.S., meanwhile, will grow to $89.8 billion in 2015 from $70.7 billion last year, according to the report. And online TV, excluding mobile, will see U.S. advertising grow to $4.1 billion in 2015 from $1.6 billion last year.
Separately, newspapers’ rising paywalls on the web will moderate their digital ad revenue growth, PricewaterhouseCoopers said. Their digital ad market in the U.S. will still rise to $4.4 billion in 2015 from $3 billion last year.