By Larry Williams, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia
This week I was pleased to help launch TAG’s first-ever Media and Entertainment Ecosystem Report. Kudos to TAG Media and Entertainment Society co-chairs Quincy Johnson of WarnerMedia and Louis Gump of Cox Media for leading this outstanding effort.
This report, covered in this article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, does a fantastic job of highlighting the diversity of 713 media and entertainment companies across six subsectors of Georgia’s economy. It helps us understand the adaptability of these creative companies and their impact on the broader economy.
In 2020, Media and entertainment contributed a whopping $2 trillion annual economic impact globally and some $500 billion in the United States, the largest media market in the world. Media and entertainment companies in Georgia employ 40,000 people and generate $14.7 billion in revenues annually.
Many companies tracked by TAG adapted to recent challenges by innovating on familiar platforms while also expanding in areas like streaming technology, thereby serving people’s innate needs for entertainment to brighten their lives wherever they are. The future is bright. Media and entertainment firms are projected to grow 6% annually for the next few years.
Georgia has developed into a global hub for film, television, music, and video gaming, and these subsectors together contributed $6.6 billion in revenue. That impact demonstrates the effectiveness of policies that make Georgia a magnet attracting creative and production talent, and drive companies to shoot big-budget films in the state.
The six media and entertainment sectors covered in the report are:
- Film & Video Production & Distribution: Thanks to a combination of factors including economic recovery, resumed production, and expanded options for streaming, anticipated annual growth of this sector is 3.6% in 2021.
- Television Production & Broadcasting: Streaming video helped offset a decline in advertising during the pandemic. Georgia TV ad revenues also saw a revenue spike from the 2020 elections.
- Video Games and eSports Production & Distribution: Global video game revenues grew by 20% due in large part to the pandemic’s stay-at-home requirement. Future revenues look very positive.
- Music Production & Distribution: While streaming revenues were up, most of the other revenue indicators such as downloads, and performance rights dropped due to the pandemic malaise. Georgia generated about $469 million in 2020.
- Radio Production & Broadcasting: TAG estimates that the radio industry in Georgia generated $477 million in annual revenue. During 2020, the radio industry suffered lower advertising revenues and several of the larger station owners filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.
- Publishing Book, Newspaper & Magazine Production and Distribution: In 2020, the sales of books increased 8.2% and about 75% of the readers preferred the physical touch of paper.
- Newspaper and magazine publishers showed a revenue decline in 2020 and will likely show more decline in years to come.
With its strong contributions to Georgia’s economy across these six subsectors, the media and entertainment industry is woven into the state’s economic fabric and poised for growth. Furthermore, the increasing prominence of Georgia on the global stage, availability of world-class talent, and the robust ecosystem of technological innovation ensure the state has a dynamic ecosystem to sustain economic growth for many years to come.