In short: 5G will bring with it massive opportunity for the media industry in particular, and a ‘tipping point’ is expected to have been reached by the year 2025. What’s more, that tipping point is only the beginning as the expectation is the available revenue will continue to grow almost exponentially, and in a very short space of time. Within the media industry, it's gaming and video that are likely to emerge as two of the main driving forces in terms of revenue and data usage, respectively, and by association, they will also likely to be two of the most beneficial industries to be part of as 5G matures year-over-year. Both AR and VR are also expected to realize a better foothold in the media revenue market compared to today. These predictions are based on the latest “5G Economics of Entertainment Report” from Intel, in association with Ovum.
Background: What the report is really saying is by 2025 the amount of data users use will have massively increased compared to today and in no small due to media. This in turn will mean media companies are able to capitalize on the revenue generated from those users. It’s the data that's important here. Why the report specifically focuses in on the media industry is due to Intel suggesting media, read video, will be the driving force behind the massive and sudden uptick in data usage. Interestingly, not so much augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) even though both are industries that are commonly expected to personally benefit from a transition to 5G. To put this data surge point into perspective, Intel reckons that in 2019 the average 5G subscriber will consume about 11.7GB worth of data each month. The report goes on to explain that by 2028 that number would have jumped to 84.4GB each month, per user. Marking a notable increase in data usage in the space of less than ten years. Translating these data usage figures into money language, Intel suggests in 2019 the 5G market will be worth about $409 million to the global media industry. By 2022 that figure will rise fairly substantially to $47 billion. Although by 2025 that figure will have more than trebled coming in at $183 billion, and then by 2028 the massive strides in revenue growth will have continued with the global media industry poised to benefit to the tune of $335 billion. Highlighting the video angle, the report predicts that by 2028 “video will account for 90 percent of all 5G traffic”.
While these figures are staggering, their impact become even clearer when they are directly compared to the media revenue associated with networks as a whole. In other words, when including revenue associated with 3G and 4G. As Intel suggests by 2025 5G will already account for 57-percent of the total wireless media revenue ($183 billion of $321 billion), and hence this will be the time when a tipping point has been reached. From here, it's expected 5G's influence on the wireless market will just continue to increase and at an impressive rate as by 2028 5G is expected to account for 80-percent of the total wireless revenue: $335 billion of $420 billion. An even clearer picture can be painted painted when you compare 2028 to 2022. As in this instance, 5G’s revenue share in 2028 ($335 billion) will have already eclipsed the total wireless revenue expected in 2022. In fact, based on these numbers 5G alone in 2028 would have also surpassed the total wireless revenue expected just three years before - in 2025. Almost measly in comparison, AR and VR are expected to only provide about $140 billion in revenue, and that’s cumulative speaking, spanning 2021 through to 2028. That said, Intel is expecting gaming to make its own mark and to equally become a force to be reckoned with as 5G becomes more commonplace and use cases evolve to match the network. To the point where a majority of the revenues associated with the likes of AR and VR will probably have been generated off the back of the 5G gaming boom. For example, while video is expected to have a huge impact on the overall traffic associated with 5G, it’s impact will not be quite as impressive when it comes to revenue and specifically revenue generated from media consumed via mobile. In this instance, by 2028 the report predicts 5G gaming will account for $78 billion of the overall $122 billion that comes from mobile media. This compares to $32.4 billion for 5G video and the $11.6 billion for 5G music. Around the same time, AR as a whole is expected to generate $35.7 billion, and VR just $5 billion. Although compared to the revenue these generate today, they too will be seeing massive gains in general.
Impact: While the report is in part designed to promote Intel, as the technology company has a vested interest in the success of 5G, Intel is also attempting to highlight the sheer impact 5G will have on the market as a whole. As while reports do come through highlighting how 5G will add to the user experience, they are usually far in the future reports. Furthermore, they have been coming through long enough now that the actual idea of 5G, and especially 5G in its stride, can still feel as though it's a long way away. However, Intel is using these numbers to clearly make the point that now is the time in which companies who expect to be able to reap the benefits from these massive increases in data usage and revenue need to act. Explaining those companies who do not act in time will find themselves effectively sinking in the aftermath of 5G, and most likely quicker than they realize. As Intel explicit puts it, if companies do not adapt, “they risk failure or even extinction”. What’s more, and while media as a whole is likely to be the driving force behind 5G usage, the report does highlight gaming and video is likely to be where the real value to businesses comes from. As while video will no doubt be what consumes the most 5G traffic (not dissimilar to what is often noted today in terms of network usage since the emergence of video streaming services), gaming will become a definite money-maker and especially when it comes to mobile 5G.