Explore the Trends of the Digital Content Market in Italy!

Published on
2024-04-04 00:00:00
Fabiola Iannaccone

Innovation and Growth in the Digital Landscape

In today's increasingly connected world, technology is indelibly shaping the landscape of digital content. From entertainment videos to audiobooks, through gaming, we are witnessing an era of transformation driven by innovation. The Observatory "Digital Content: Technology Shapes the Market" of the Politecnico, with GMDE as a Partner, provides a comprehensive overview of this dynamic sector, highlighting not only current trends but also the challenges and opportunities awaiting market stakeholders. 


The New Era of Digital Content

The research emphasizes a significant change in the digital content sector. While the past was characterized by a rapidly expanding offer, today we see a phase of consolidation, with the industry focusing on the increase in average subscription prices and the innovation of advertising models, driven by the appeal of Connected TV. 


Innovation at the Center

At the heart of this revolution are three main areas of innovation: Web3 (Blockchain), Generative Artificial Intelligence, and the Metaverse. These technologies are redefining the ways of consuming, producing, and distributing digital content, introducing new paradigms that companies must navigate to maintain their competitiveness. 


Data and Trends

The Observatory's analysis "Digital Content: Technology Shapes the Market" reveals an increase in consumer spending on digital content in 2023, with a particular interest in digital audio. The entertainment video sector remains dominant, but it is the variety and quality of the offer that captivates consumers' attention. 


Towards the future

Companies in the digital content sector are called upon to understand and adopt these new technologies, developing the necessary skills to integrate them into their organizational models. Regulation must evolve in step to support this transformational journey, ensuring a balance between innovation and copyright protection. 


Consumer Spending and Sector Growth

The digital content market is characterized by consumer spending on subscriptions or individual purchases and by advertising revenue of platforms. In 2023, consumer spending was recorded at 3.6 billion euros, with a growth of 5%, signaling a slowdown compared to previous years where growth was in double digits. 


The Video Entertainment sector dominates the market with 44% of the total spending and an annual growth of 7% in consumer spending and 14% in advertising revenue. This increase is due to the rise in prices and the introduction of hybrid subscription models that include advertising. 


The Digital Audio segment, although it represents only 9% of the total expenditure, shows a significant increase (+18% in consumer spending and +24% in advertising revenue), driven especially by music streaming and the expansion of audiobooks and podcasts. 


Information and eBooks constitute only 5% of the total expenditure, with a moderate growth of 4% in spending and 5% in advertising revenue in 2023. Digital information is gaining recognition and a growing predisposition of consumers towards verified content and payment, despite a low level of loyalty. 


Gaming, after a contraction in 2022, marks a recovery with a 2% increase in consumer spending, benefiting from the availability of new consoles and the growth of "digital only" models. 


Italian Digital Consumption Habits

Despite economic and political uncertainties, Italian interest in digital content is rising, driven by the quality and variety of offerings and growing opportunities for information and entertainment. The adoption of devices such as Smartwatches, Smart Speakers, and Smart TVs is on the rise, with the latter becoming a central element in Italian homes. After a decline in 2022, the consumption of digital content is again on the rise in 2023, with a particular interest in news, entertainment videos, and music. Podcasts, audiobooks, and eBooks, although less widespread, are perceived as content with the greatest growth prospects. 


Spending on paid digital content has increased, with on-demand videos attracting almost two-thirds of consumers. There is also a modest growth trend in the budget allocated to digital content, especially for information and audiobooks. 


Technology is transforming the digital content industry, with particular attention to Web3, Generative Artificial Intelligence, and the Metaverse. These technological developments are redefining the distribution and commercialization of content, with an impact on digital property, traceability, and fair compensation. Companies are evaluating the opportunities and challenges of these technologies, ranging from the automatic drafting of content to the protection of intellectual property and workers' rights. 


Despite the decline in investments, the Metaverse remains an area of interest for promoting brands and exploring new distribution channels. The challenge for the industry is to translate experiments into structured production and distribution models, understanding the implications for users and the sector as a whole. 


Do you want to explore these trends and understand their implications for the future of content? 

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