Power shifts: Altering the dynamics of the E&M industry

Swiss Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021‑2025

Swiss Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021‑2025
  • August 30, 2021

Like nearly all of the world, Switzerland was hit with the full effects of COVID-19 in 2020, with the government banning gatherings of more than five people and closing restaurants and bars in April. Restrictions were never as strong as in neighbouring Italy and France, but COVID-19 has changed the Swiss entertainment and media (E&M) landscape as more people stayed at home. 

Overall E&M revenues fell -4.6% in 2020, mainly due to the collapse of live events and entertainment such as music gigs and cinema, which were more severely affected by lockdown, while the shuttering of entire sectors further depressed an already nervous advertising sector.

 This report will go into more detail about how the events of 2020 will affect the E&M market in Switzerland until 2025.

To get a sense of the bigger picture in this diverse industry, please also have a look at PwC's global page.

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2021 Switzerland Outlook perspectives - Segment highlights

Music and radio

The world is restarting, and live music is returning, but the industry has spied a new future. Ghost festivals have become a thing, podcasts have turned listeners' allies as they are added to music streaming services, while social media and video games have become music platforms as the industry hunts out new ways of reaching people’s ears.

B2B segment

Traditional TV and radio

Despite being mature, Switzerland’s pay-tv market will see big changes over the coming years. What’s on? Mergers and acquisitions between telcos’ pay-TV businesses are getting interesting and the battle between cable and IPTV continues. Competition between OTT players is greater than ever, and we will see SVOD services get added into pay-TV plans. 

OTT video

OTT has rocketed under lockdown, but now people are allowed to leave their living rooms, will OTT players still have the upper hand? Streaming services are still battling away in a race to add local-language content to their platforms in Switzerland. The importance of OTT content to pay-TV bundles has been proven; we’ll see how they will collaborate in the future. 

Consumer books


While cinemas shut up shop, they worked with streaming services like Netflix to release some titles. But the backlog of global titles has piled up, desperate for global reopening which has finally begun in 2021. With one of the highest admission prices in the world, let’s see how cinema fares in Switzerland. 

Internet access


OOH has suffered badly at the hands of COVID-19, but as the grand reopening takes effect in 2021, will it see a quick bounce back? Fast recovery in consumer spending, and hence retailers’ balance sheets, are a sign they are likely to see more money for advertising in the recovery years, with digital ads at the forefront. 

Video games

The boredom of lockdowns has certainly been quashed by video games. The wealth of options for the average gamer is stronger now than ever before, with new console releases and a range of cloud gaming services, no one can complain about lack of choice. With an active developer and player market, read further to learn about the future of video games in Switzerland. 

Music, radio and podcasts

TV advertising 

TV advertising was suffering even before the coronavirus as viewers moved to streaming services, with a divide between those favouring traditional TV methods and the rest going for streaming. The cancellation of big sporting events in 2020 has caused further disruption in this industry, but advertisers have found new ways to approach their target bases.  

Internet access

After launching in 2019, 5G is being rightly hyped and the Swiss market is no exception – after all, it was the first to launch commercial 5G in Europe. Operators have already placed their bets firmly in 5G’s corner and have banked on new services such as cloud gaming becoming available through cheaper data. 

Out-of-home advertising


Companies have been hard hit over the last year, but protection available in the form of business information has helped a number of firms. This year will see a handful of trade shows return in the physical form and will indicate whether we see a return to a “normal” trade show calendar.

OTT video

Consumer books 

The mood music from newspapers is that print is dead, but is that true for books? Well, there is growing traction for audiobooks, with established players like Audible now competing with new players such as Spotify, who are making an all-out assault on the audio market. Even ebooks have fared well in the pandemic, with consumers turning to digital as booksellers closed. 

Newspapers and magazines

Print newspapers have fallen on hard times in recent years, with digital tearing into print’s revenues and not recycling. Unfortunately for the publishers, they are now up against myriad competitors for consumer attention, many turning to audio and video as a way to present current affairs. The story continues.

Internet advertising

One thing you can count on to be unphased by a pandemic is those pop-up internet ads, and what’s more they’re growing. Mobile ads now make up the majority of revenue and innovation around new technologies like AR, as well as increased mobile data consumption with 5G, will see this grow even further, but there are new barriers to be faced. 

Executive summary 

In this overview we have summarised the most important findings on the 12 segments covered in the Swiss Entertainment and Media Outlook 2021-2025. 

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Contact us

Bogdan Sutter

Bogdan Sutter

Director Advisory, Strategy and Digital Change Expert, Bern, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 77 51