UK futures


Headline predictions and useful links to forecasts about the UK creative industries.

FOUR YEAR BOOM for digital media

Britain’s entertainment organisations are forecast to experience rapid growth thanks to demand for e-books, streamed media, video games and online advertising, a report from PwC predicts.

The authors estimate that the UK entertainment and media sector will be worth £66.6bn in 2019, up from £56.9bn in 2014, driven by the transition from physical channels and formats.

PwC estimates that ebooks read on tablets will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 20 per cent a year through to 2020, putting electronic books ahead of printed books for the first time in 2018.

The music industry is also expected to reap the rewards offered by ubiquitous streaming, with digital music channels expected to overtake traditional radio advertising this year. However, digital download revenue is expected to fall from £516m in 2013 to just £388m in 2019.

In the newspaper industry, projections suggest that global digital subscriptions will begin to make up for lost print sales in the near future.

Source: The Drum, June 2015.



UK could be world's creative hub by 2025

The UK could become the leading hub for the world's creative industries within a generation, according to the CBI, the UK business leaders' organisation. 

In its report, Playing our Strongest Hand, the CBI argues that the UK can build on recent initiatives to ensure the creative industries have "the foundations in place for long-term success" and can provide the leading global creative hub by 2025.

The CBI applauds policies such as the UK's creative industries' tax reliefs, the Copyright Hub - a project to streamline licensing across creative sectors - and the UK's music export growth scheme for encouraging investment, trade and exports.

The organisation has set out a number of policy recommendations regarding schools, taxation and broadband infrastructure in order to foster growth at UK creative companies.


Mobile ad market worth £3.7bn in the UK by 2017

Investment in mobile advertising in the UK will increase by more than 270% to £3.71bn between 2013 and 2017, predicts eMarketer, the technology research group.

In a report into UK digital advertising, eMarketer forecasts that mobile advertising will drive growth in the overall UK digital advertising market over the next few years. It predicts that just under £1bn will be spent on mobile advertising in the UK during 2013.

Investment in mobile advertising grew fivefold between 2011 and 2013, and is expecting to increase 18 times between 2011 and 2017. 


More than 60m smartphones in UK by 2016

The number of smartphones in usage across the UK will increase by 18% compound annual growth between 2013 and 2016 to 63m.

The forecast comes from Portio Research which characterises the UK as "regional leader, with above average smartphone penetration" compared to the european average.

Portio predicts that UK smartphone penetration will cross the 50% threshold in 2013, reaching 75 per cent by the end of 2016. By contrast, the number of non-smartphones in use in the UK is set to decline from 39m at the end of 2013 to 21m by the end of 2016.


Tablet growth surges in UK

Ownership of tablet devices and tablet-based advertising are both predicted to exand rapidly in the UK, according to separate reports from eMarketer, the technology research group, and ZenithOptimedia, the media agency network.

eMarketer estimates that the number of UK tablet users will increase by double digit rates in each year between 2013 and 2016, reaching 34.6m by 2017. Popular uses for tablets include search, email, playing games, reading news and shopping online. 

The growth of tablets is also identified as a key factor in the expansion of sales of ebooks. The value of sales of eBooks to UK consumers rose by 134% to £216m in 2012, accounting for 12% of the total value of combined physical and digital book sales in the UK.


UK Payments innovate via mobile and other platforms

By 2021, 90% of UK payments of all wages and salaries are forecast to be made by automated methods, according to the Payments Council.

The total value of credit card payments in the UK is forecast to increase to £204bn by 2021 from £104bn in 2011, whilst UK debit card payments are predicted to reach £664bn in 2021, compared to £334bn in 2011. (Source: Payments Council).

The value of mobile payments made in the UK using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology is forecast to reach $9.78bn (Source: Yankee Group quoted by Emarketer).


UK visitor numbers 

Visitor numbers to the UK are predicted to rise by 2.5% to 35.1m in 2015, with spend forecast to grow by 4.5% to £22.2bn, according to Visit Britain. (Source: Visit Britain).