The entertainment and media (E&M) industry in Romania is expected to achieve year-on-year growth of 10% to a total value of EUR 3,4 billion in 2022, taking it above the pre-pandemic level (EUR 2.53 billion in 2019), with most segments expected to grow, according to the 23rd edition of the PwC “Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022−2026” (GEMO). The growth rate is similar to last year’s 11%, and the forecast shows that the industry will continue to grow at 6 to 9% per year until 2026.
Regionally, Romania has the second fastest growing media and entertainment industry among the Central and Eastern European countries included in the report. For example, the sector is expected to grow in Poland by 10.2% this year, in Hungary by 7.85% and in the Czech Republic by 7.45%.
Winners vs losers in 2020 and forecasts for 2021
With the lifting of the pandemic restrictions, the film industry has started to recover. Last year saw record growth in the Romanian media and entertainment market, with a 68% increase to EUR 25 million. This year’s growth is expected to be even higher, at 83% to EUR 46 million, but it will not reach the pre-pandemic level of around EUR 60 million.
The over-the-top (OTT) (e.g. Netflix) services market in Romania recorded the second highest growth in the market last year of 29% to EUR 44 million. It will continue to grow this year at a slower rate, estimated at 18% to EUR 52 million. Romania remains the smallest OTT market in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region despite impressive growth rates in recent years. This year marked the launch of two new services on the Romanian market: HBO Max and Disney+.
Spending on internet access is the largest segment of the industry, with 37.5% of the market. It grew by 7% to EUR 1.16 billion in 2021 compared to the previous year, and the report indicates a 10% increase in 2022.
Internet advertising grew by 35% to EUR 500 million in 2021. This segment will continue to grow this year, by 14% to EUR 569 million. Romania has the smallest internet advertising market in CEE, but it is the fastest growing. The mobile sector dominates the market and accounts for 74.3% of total internet advertising revenues.
The video games and esports segment also recorded a significant increase of 21% to EUR 213 million. For this year, a 12% increase to EUR 239 million is expected.
Book sales stagnated last year at the 2020 level of EUR 89 million and are expected to rise to EUR 90 million this year. The audiobook market in Romania seems to be growing, and podcasts are already popular in the country. In 2021, two audiobook services were launched in Romania: Echo and Voxa.
TV and video content consumed at home grew last year by 3% to a value of EUR 539 million, but it is expected to stagnate this year. This is the second largest segment in Romania in terms of revenue generated, after internet access.
TV advertising revenues grew by 11% to EUR 332 million last year and are expected to reach EUR 360 million in 2022.
The B2B media sector returned to growth last year, up 9% to EUR 140 million, and the outlook is even more optimistic this year, with an estimated 17% increase. This will take the segment to pre-pandemic levels.
Another segment that returned to growth last year is the out-of-home advertising market, which was up 17% to EUR 30 million. The outlook for this year is for an increase to EUR 38 million.
Newspapers and consumer magazines in Romania continued their decline by 8% to EUR 46 million in 2021. A further 2% decrease is expected this year.
After declining in 2020, the radio, music and podcast segment grew by 11% to EUR 27 million last year and is estimated to climb by 14% in 2022 to EUR 31 million.
Globally, the media and entertainment industry’s revenue is expected to grow by 10.4% to USD 2.34 trillion in 2021.