DUBLIN: Increasing consumer usage of smartphones and the internet in Ireland will drive growth in the Irish entertainment and media market by +4.2% annually over the next five years, according to a new study.

The country-specific data is contained within the latest PwC Global entertainment and media outlook: 2013-17, produced by the international professional services company, which also predicts that the nation's global mobile broadband penetration will grow to 54% by 2017.

In Ireland, improved internet infrastructure and the rollout of 4G services are expected to boost annual mobile internet revenues to €865m within five years, almost double fixed broadband access revenues.

PwC said the increased reach offered by improved networks should offer mobile operators and retailers greater insight into how consumers use their products.

Susan Kilty, a partner at PwC entertainment and media, said: "In Ireland it is evident that digital is beginning to displace the traditional media forms. Digital revenue is growing at a rate of 13.2% [compounded annually] and is helping to absorb a marginal decline of 0.3% for the non-digital forms of media."

She added: "By creating a personalised, relevant experience to the connected consumer, businesses will benefit from greater customer insight and can harness the benefits that the digital age will bring."

PwC forecast that Irish internet advertising revenues will double from €213m in 2013 to €347m in 2017 and, amid signs that mobile devices are beginning to become the primary way to access the internet, mobile adspend is expected to grow by 23.2%.

With 86% of the population of Ireland regularly reading printed or online newspapers, digital advertising revenues in this sector are forecast to rise to €60m with print revenues dropping by €69m to €270m in 2017.

Regarding music and movies, PwC expects DVD and Blu-ray rentals in Ireland to decline by 28.6% over the next five years as Netflix and other video streaming services are rolled out. The proportion of digital music sales is expected to rise to 64%.

Data sourced from PwC; additional content by Warc staff