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Video/Media

Omdia: Consumers will spend more on movies in 2022

Consumer spend on movies will hit a record $77 billion in 2022 as cinemas return to near full capacity and streaming providers take advantage of evolving release windows to give subscriber bases a boost, according to a forecast from Omdia.

While those spending levels will reach a record, the rate of growth is expected to slow in the future stages of the pandemic. "Success will be a fine balance between box office, subscriber revenue, and piracy," Charlotte Jones, principal analyst of media and entertainment at Omdia, wrote in a report titled "2022 Trends to Watch: Movies in the New Windows Chronology."

Click here for a larger version of this image.  
(Source: Omdia)
Click here for a larger version of this image.
(Source: Omdia)

Subscription video, the report predicts, is poised to become the leading platform for consumer movie spend in 2022. But even in 2022, subscription video won't top the 2019 spending totals on theatrical releases.

"That said, cinemas' worth in the movies' ecosystem has been underscored and will see theatrical account for 40% of total spend against 30% the previous year, although never quite return as the leading platform," Jones explained.

Click here for a larger version of this image.  
(Source: Omdia)
Click here for a larger version of this image.
(Source: Omdia)

Shifting release windows will likely evolve further in 2022. Those will continue to enter the picture a year after WarnerMedia released its full slate of movies simultaneously on HBO Max and at theaters and other media giants experimented with premium VoD (PVoD) models that shortened the length of time between theatrical debuts and the home release window.

Opportunity knocks

Omdia, which is owned by the same parent company as Light Reading, expects movie scheduling to continue to shift to "opportune OTT debuts," with streaming services using the windows to help drive subscriber acquisitions. However, day-and-date PVoD strategy, such as what WarnerMedia pulled off in 2021, will "become a niche strategy for key titles in 2022," Jones said, noting that it exposes top flight content to piracy that might not justify the upside of incremental revenues.

The PVoD market is expected to shrink a bit as theaters reassert their position in the value chain as people return to them in greater numbers. "While theatrical nears full recovery, PVOD revenue in 2022 will achieve just one third of the peak level in 2021," Jones wrote.

Jones also expects Netflix to strengthen its theatrical strategy for key movies in 2022 and reach a release pace of about 30 titles per year in cinemas.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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