Streaming service Netflix is booming with a revenue surge of 24% last quarter (a reported $1.57 billion) and 40 million U.S. and 22 million more international subscribers. That’s one key reason why downloads and streaming of movies and video content will finally, for the first time, exceed revenues from buying and renting DVDs. Thus it’s no surprise that Netflix stock has been rising— ahead of media behemoths like CBS and Viacom.
In its shareholders letter, Netflix cited its burgeoning roster of original programs, from "House of Cards" to new series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and "Bloodline."
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ annual report for media and entertainment, global media and entertainment revenue should rise at a 5.1 percent annual rate through 2019, reaching $2.23 trillion, with particular growth in China and Latin America, which are building theaters at a fast clip. While Hollywood studio releases will continue to dominate, most growth will come from local production.
U.S. movie downloads and video streaming subscriptions could jump as much as 13% to $9.5 billion in 2015; meanwhile the sales and rentals of DVDs will continue to decline, to $7.8 billion. Streaming will be a $12 billion industry by 2017–that’s more than annual domestic ticket sales at movie theaters, which have yet to crack $11 billion.
Also ahead, per PricewaterhouseCoopers, music streaming will overtake the digital purchases of songs by 2018, when in the book business, digital revenue will account for 45 percent.