The COVID-19 pandemic built a significant upheaval in the entertainment sector. Most theaters, cinemas, and concert halls were shuttered for almost a year, and film and television production halted for months, resulting in thousands of layoffs and vast sums of money lost. Not only those directly working in production were affected but also people supporting the industry, such as florists, caterers, and trucking companies. It also affected workers that depended on new and updated franchises, like those who worked in books, toys, and apparel.
However, while the entertainment industry has seen a vast number of adverse effects caused by the pandemic, it hasn’t been all bad. For instance, stuck-at-home consumers fueled an enormous increase in streaming, as noted by the astonishing gains made by Netflix, Disney+, and a general increase in video gaming.
With multiple movie theaters still uncertain about the future, production firms have turned to streaming services to debut the movie slates. For example, the film studio Warner Bros. Pictures decided to release its 2021 films on HBO Max. This allowed people to stream new movies from the safety and comfort of their homes while also prompting the critical question: What does the future hold for streaming services, movie theaters, and film studios?
Never neglect the value chain impact
A shift in consumer behavior often affects bargaining power between artists across the value chain. It’s going to happen in the entertainment sector as well.
For example, the closure of major theater chains drove studios to break what’s known as the “window” – the three months between when a film hits the big screen and when it’s offered for rental or video-on-demand purchase, and then on streaming devices. Studios have already moved titles to streaming channels. This isn’t just a temporary channel shift. The one big moat safeguarding the theatre revenue is the “window.” Eroding it for a limited time has allowed studios to test the film’s success on streaming platforms. Though theatres haven’t gone anywhere, their negotiating power definitely has.
What trends to look for in the entertainment sector
The future of the entertainment industry will evolve as consumers make new demands, new tools emerge, and the accessibility and quality of technologies will improve. The rise of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mobile video, and the more refined use of data analytics will influence the future of the entertainment sector.
- Mobile Video Marketing
The methods used by advertisers to reach consumers must change as well because the future of entertainment is constantly changing. For example, a study by The Trade Desk found that 74% of American families with adults ages 18 to 34 have discontinued their cable TV subscriptions, have plans to do so, or have never done so. This indicates that a mobile-first approach is necessary for the future of the entertainment sector, especially video. This requires businesses to assess how they present themselves in the marketplace and goes beyond advertising on well-known streaming channels.
- Public Relations And Data Analytics
Public relations has adopted the big data realm and embraced insights gleaned from that data to enhance PR tactics. Moreover, analytics from online advertising can help marketers improve the ad’s message, analyze which channels to use, and obtain insight into who exactly is listening. The massive data available today allow communication experts to predict interest and news cycles; determine which outlets cover the industry most; and reveal potential relationships with influencers, media channels, and other organizations. While some of the metrics related to public relations may appear intangible, data is shaping the future of entertainment concepts in PR by making sense of all the (intangible) noise.
- Massive Investments In AR And VR
Through specific hardware and software, AR enhances physical images, while VR recreates environments. These two industries have gained new emphasis in the past few years, and each is growing rapidly.
According to Research and Markets, the global AR and VR industry is predicted to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2030 (from $37 billion in 2019). Many experts envision that new technologies will allow people to have immersive experiences with products prior to purchase, helping convert ad dollars to real customer purchases. Moreover, by integrating print media with digital, these technologies will deliver personalized experiences to customers.
- Social Media Investigation
Holding Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms responsible for some of the disseminated content distributed over their networks has gained momentum. Unfortunately, that momentum reached a critical point in 2020. The boiling point involved extreme misinformation around COVID-19 and the presidential election.
Political leaders have raised awareness of social media platforms through proposed legislation and congressional hearings. Furthermore, some employees and consumers have voiced dissatisfaction with how social media giants have responded. Going forward, these organizations will need to incorporate stricter internal regulations on the content or comply with government regulations.
- The Command Of Influencers
Numerous people follow social media influencers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a recent study by the marketing firm Amra& Elma discovered that rises in social media usage associated with the pandemic were accompanied by an increase in influencer engagement. Its findings show that at the beginning of the pandemic, influencers saw a 67% increase in likes and a 51% increase in comments.
It’s also noteworthy that influencers’ fees for their postings grew just 3.1%, despite increased engagement rates. According to the research, “Slightly higher prices indicate that companies are now likely to receive much more reach for the same money as they would have before the pandemic.” The survey also showed that marketers could benefit from a decreased cost per impression thanks to increased engagement and moderate increases in the price of influencer-sponsored content.
Life as they knew it for many people who work in the entertainment sector quickly changed in late March when COVID-19 spread and prompted a complete shutdown of the industry. The global pandemic ultimately put an end to the multimillion-dollar industry as movie theatres went dark, concert venues shut their doors, and film sets put an end to production.
In the future, we predict that new consumption patterns will emerge, and the power of negotiations across the value chain will change. Finally, entirely new business models will emerge.