Europeans and digital content consumption: a growing relationship

Dec 27, 2021

The digital content industry is on the rise. One out of two people (57%) consumes digital content in Europe, and this figure will increase by more than 10 points by 2026. That’s why at Telecoming, we couldn’t fail to analyze an industry as promising as this one!

In 2021, total spending on digital content in Europe barely reaches $51B, while in 2026, the figure will rise to over $129B. Today, 24% of the European population accesses video services digitally. Spain is the second-largest consumer of video services on the continent, only behind the United Kingdom (44%).

By device, smartphones, smart speakers and virtual reality will grow exponentially in Europe. Smart speakers will be the protagonists in the coming years, as they will increase from 10% of the current total to an estimated 15% in 2026. Get ready! Because in the next few years, we will see how the voice assistant industry will enter the device market and gain weight in the sector.

Video games continue to be a growing sector

According to our analysis, although the digital video is currently the king of content, video game consumption will lead the digital sector. It is expected to be the industry that generates almost half of the total revenues (47%).

By type of device, 53% of Europeans consume video games from their tablets or smartphones, a figure that will reach 62% in the next five years. The percentage is 46% in Spain and will increase four points in 2026.

The European mobile games market has a total annual value of more than 17.6B and will exceed 77B in 5 years. In that period, the market will grow by 34%, thus increasing all the sectors around this industry: ads investments within mobile video games will increase by 42% on average in Europe, and total revenue from subscriptions and in-app purchases will grow by 7%.

As for digital music services, the number of people accessing them will increase by 62M to 168M across the continent. Of these, 164 million will be subscribers. However, the purchase of music is practically residual and barely reaches 7% in Europe and will fall to 4% in the next five years. In total, Europe-wide turnover will be €10B by the end of 2021 and grow to €16B in 2026.

Smart TVs and VR headsets are gaining traction

Digital content consumed from PCs is expected to decline from 19% to 17% over the next five years. This reduction will be compensated by the growing prominence of new devices such as smart speakers and connected TVs.

Even though content consumption is downward, average annual spending from PCs and tablets will increase significantly. Tablets will drive more than $24B in spending by 2026, compared to 650M this year. On the other hand, PCs will experience further growth, rising from $9B today to $21B in 2026.

Concerning the new devices that have burst onto the market, such as smart TVs, smart speakers, and VR terminals, the report points to an increase in spending and digital content consumption.

Smartphones, smart speakers and virtual reality are the three types of devices that will grow exponentially in Europe. Smart speakers will be the protagonists in the coming years, as they will increase from 10% of the current total to an estimated 15% in 2026. In this way, we will see how the voice assistant industry will fully enter the device market and gain weight in the sector.

Want to access the full report? Download it here!

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