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Digital content to reach $432 billion by 2026

26 May 2021

The market for digital content — pay-per-download revenue, in app content spending, subscription spending and ad spending on digital content — is forecast to grow to $432 billion by 2026 up from $211 billion this year, according to new data from Juniper Research.

Juniper identified digital games as the major sector to generate the highest revenue by 2025, accounting for 45% of the global market value. As subscription services increase in popularity, an increase in partnerships between digital content platforms and niche content to best position services for future growth, Juniper said.

By 2026, there will be more than 3.3 billion game users, rising from 2.7 billion in 2021 and the forecast calls for game publishers to capitalize on this growth by offering subscriptions that leverage extensive content partnerships to provide content libraries ongoing subscription costs.

“Over half of digital content spend will come from smartphones,” said Saidat Giwa-Osagie, researcher for Juniper Research. “However, as subscriptions become increasingly competitive, niche areas, such as augmented and virtual reality, will need to be considered when onboarding content partners.”

Two key device channels will provide new revenue growth areas in the next five years: immersive reality headsets and smart speakers. Digital content revenue in these device categories will grow to $8.1 billion by 2026, up from $2.4 billion in 2021, a whopping 275% growth during the period.

Immersive reality headsets and smart speaker sales in North America and Europe will account for more than 50% of revenue. Device ownership will result in most of the revenue opportunities over the next five years, Juniper said.

The full research can be found in Juniper’s Digital Content Monetization report.

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