ABU DHABI - The global media and entertainment services sector is seeing a growing dependence on innovation and artificial intelligence (AI).

The value of the sector is estimated to grow to US$2.4 trillion next year, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8 percent since 2015, according to figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The PwC report expects the sector to grow by a CAGR of 5 percent from 2020 to 2025, amounting to $2.6 trillion, noting that the web content, search portals and social media segments will achieve gains totalling $542.2 billion in global annual sales while the TV broadcasting segment will achieve gains of $79.2 billion, the movies and video segment with $83.3 billion, and newspapers and magazines publishers with $32.6 billion.

Artificial Intelligence Specialist reports on the global media and entertainment services sector noted the growing international share of AI in 2022 by a CAGR of 30 percent, valued at $8.4 billion, according to Analytics Insight while Grandview Research estimates the international AI market to grow by $99.48 billion by 2030.

Future Market Insights also pointed out that the value of the AI market within the media and entertainment sector amounted to $10.4 billion in 2021, while estimates suggest that this sector will grow, from 2022 to 2032, by a CAGR of 26 percent to $132.16 billion.

Media and Entertainment in UAE

The report pointed out that the growth of the UAE’s publishing sector during the current decade is 150 percent, and will reach $650 million in 2030, noting that the country accounts for 25 percent of total subscriptions in digital media outlets in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The report expects an increase in revenue in the UAE’s Digital Music segment to $62 million this year, with its CAGR increasing by 9.46 percent, entailing a projected market value of $89 million in 2026.

According to estimates by Niko Partners, the UAE’s entertainment industry will grow at a CAGR of 9 percent from 2021 to 2028 while the value of the games market in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will increase to $3.14 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 13.8 percent over five years.

Investment Opportunities

The Ministry of Economy issued a report, titled, "Investing in Media and Entertainment in the UAE," which includes the summaries of several international reports on the country’s media and entertainment industry. The report highlighted the fact that Dubai Media City has a business environment that includes nearly 33,000 specialists in the media sector and more than 122 channels. Moreover, the Free Media Zone in Abu Dhabi hosts over 600 companies, 130 entrepreneurs and over 5,000 media specialists.

The report also noted that the Yas Creative Hub will have more than 16,000 employees in 2031, as part of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s strategy worth over AED30 billion.

The Sharjah Media City (Shams) witnessed significant growth in 2021, and its registered companies increased in number to 5,689 while 4,293 companies renewed their licences in the same year.