Private equity firm Veronis Shuler Stevenson pretty much likes what it sees in media related businesses in today’s mid-year update to its influential annual VSS Communications Industry Forecast. It projects total spending this year of $1.19T, up 5.6% while the U.S. economy is expected to grow 4.4%. And the industry should continue that pace, hitting $1.42T in 2015, VSS says. Fastest growing businesses are Pure-Play Consumer Internet and Mobile Services (+18.1%), Public Relations and Word-of-Mouth Marketing (+14.6%), Broadcast TV (+9.3%), Subscription TV (+7.7%), and Branded Entertainment (+7.5%). Co-founder John Suhler says that the forecast “highlights the impact of a strengthening economy” and calls the growth in devices such as smartphones and tablet computers “the best news for the industry in several years.”
Still, VSS cut its forecast for Entertainment and Leisure Media, which includes pay TV, programming, home video, videogames, music, and box office sales. The firm expects spending in the field to grow 5.7%, down from the 5.8% it had forecast last year. The change is due to the 2.2% decline in spending for consumer books. VSS says it still expects gains in box office and video games, and sees “faster-than-expected stabilization” in music. Other specific predictions: Entertainment Media (+3.5%), Broadcast and Satellite Radio (+2.6%), Consumer Magazines (+0.8%) and Newspapers (-3.8%).