Press release

China media and entertainment industry continues to experience exponential growth as consumer spending rises and technologies converge

Los Angeles and Shanghai, 28 October 2012

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The staggering economic growth-rate of mainland China has created unprecedented opportunities for Chinese and global media and entertainment companies, according to Spotlight on China, a report released by EY, to coincide with its Media & Entertainment Emerging Markets Executive Forum being held in Shanghai. With China’s latest Five-Year Plan moving the economy closer towards consumption-led growth, the media and entertainment business is facing new opportunities and challenges, as it markets its products and services to the 1.3 billion people that make up the most populated country in the world. 


  • Compound annual growth rate for China’s media and entertainment industry between 2010 and 2015 is estimated to be 17%
  • Spending on entertainment and leisure activities in China rises 56% from 2010 to 2011
  • Building strong brands, operating successful partnerships, navigating regulatory landscape and succeeding in digital are key success factors

According to the report the compound annual growth rate for China’s media and entertainment industry between 2010 and 2015 is estimated to be 17%, which is significantly higher than the overall forecasted economic growth of the country. China is currently the second-largest film market in the world after the US and is expected to exceed the US box office by 2020. China is the largest internet market in the world and digital entertainment continues to grow exponentially.

David McGregor, Asia-Pacific Media & Entertainment Leader for EY, says. “The largest media and entertainment companies in the world certainly understand that their global strategy has to have China front and center. Between the impact of digital adoption and the government of China easing regulatory restrictions, both foreign and domestic media and entertainment companies are in a position to make new inroads into this extremely promising market.”

Spotlight on China identifies several trends driving growth in China’s media and entertainment economy, including an increasing disposable income among consumers; the convergence of networks, devices and content; the digitization of distribution infrastructure; advertising expansion; growth of second-tier cities; emerging business models and regulatory reform.

It also highlights the challenges facing media and entertainment companies doing business in China, including changing consumer preferences in a diverse marketplace, an evolving and highly competitive digital landscape, price sensitivity, intellectual property rights infringement and government control and regulatory restrictions.

Through conversations with leading media and entertainment companies, the report identified four key factors and associated best practices critical to success in China. These are building a strong brand, succeeding in digital, forming and operating successful partnerships and navigating the regulatory landscape. 

“The challenges for media and entertainment companies to penetrate China are still considerable, however the vast potential of the market makes it impossible to ignore,” says John Nendick, Global Media & Entertainment Leader for EY. “Companies will need to understand that investing in China is a long-term proposition, and those who can make that commitment will be in a much better position to succeed.” 

Media and entertainment companies are also advised to make cultural influences a key factor in their business strategies for China. “Companies cannot underestimate the importance of culture in China,” said Peter YF Chan, Greater China Media & Entertainment Leader for EY. “An understanding of the cultural nuances across geography, age and income level is necessary to win the loyalty of Chinese consumers.”

-Ends-

Note: A PDF summary of the report can be downloaded at www.ey.com/mediaentertainment. A copy of the full report is available to media on request.

About EY’s Global Media & Entertainment Emerging Markets Executive Forum

EY’s inaugural Global Media & Entertainment Emerging Markets Executive Forum is an exclusive event that brings together senior executives and CEOs from leading global media and entertainment companies. The forum is designed to maximize idea and best practice sharing between executives from a cross-section of M&E sectors and emerging economies on how to build and lead successful businesses in these dynamic markets. 

About EY’s Global Media & Entertainment Center

Whether it’s the traditional press and broadcast media, or the multitude of digital media, audiences now have more choice than ever before. For media and entertainment companies, integration and adaptability are becoming critical success factors.  EY’s Global Media & Entertainment Center brings together worldwide teams of professionals to help our clients achieve their potential -- teams with deep technical experience in providing assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.  The Center works to anticipate market trends, identify the implications and develop points of view on relevant industry issues.  Ultimately it enables us to help our clients meet their goals and compete more effectively.  It’s how EY makes a difference. 

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

EY refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit www.ey.com.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.