6 Trends Redefining Media & Entertainment
The pandemic greatly impacted the entertainment industry by stalling production, shuttering theaters, and canceling live events. However, media and entertainment companies were able to step up and innovate to keep afloat and prepare for the future.
For the first time in three years, our team will gather in person with the industry’s best minds for the NAB Show. We’re looking forward to discussing the latest trends, meeting with customers, and exploring what the future holds.
In preparation for NAB, we’re taking a look at the six trends redefining the world of media and entertainment.
The streaming revolution
Perhaps no innovation has impacted the film and television industry more than streaming. Over the past decade, streaming has become consumers’ favorite means of watching TV and movies. In fact, more Americans now pay for streaming services than cable TV. As with any industry, consumers prefer convenience and choice – and streaming platforms provide them with the perfect combination of both.
But streaming isn’t just changing the way consumers view content, it’s changing how entertainment industry players run their businesses. The way content is conceptualized, produced, distributed, and measured has changed drastically over the course of the streaming revolution.
While the streaming business has enjoyed the boom, even the top-performing players are still struggling to retain subscribers. According to a study from Deloitte, streaming churn has remained at a constant 37%. Consumer research from PwC found that streaming platforms can keep consumers engaged – and subscribed – by providing more content, fewer ads, and cheaper options.
Hybrid live entertainment
Live entertainment is in full swing once again after a devastating few years. The pandemic made it nearly impossible to gather together safely in large groups. At the same time, it spurred the creation of new avenues for artists to engage with fans.
Virtual concerts and live streaming made it possible for fans to view live entertainment from a physical distance during the pandemic. Video games, social media platforms, and other online viewing platforms took the place of physical venues. One Travis Scott concert hosted in Fortnite attracted 10 million viewers alone.
Entertainment groups are taking their learnings from virtual concerts and live streaming to take a hybrid approach to live entertainment. Hybrid entertainment blends the best of both worlds by allowing fans to attend either virtually or in person — or both.
A hybrid approach allows fans to attend events that they may not otherwise be able to because of physical distance limitations. Virtual options also can help connect fans with their favorite artists and one another through chat functions. They can also expand artists’ reach and revenue streams.
In order for hybrid live entertainment to work seamlessly, the industry needs the right technology to support them. A low-latency, redundant network can help support near real-time event streaming and reduce the possibility of downtime and buffering.
Some may liken the buzz today around the metaverse to that surrounding the internet at the turn of the century. But while some envision that the concept will change the world, others assume the technology will flop.
So, what exactly is the metaverse and how could it potentially change how we interact?
In simple terms, the metaverse is a virtual replica of our universe that can be accessed by multiple users at once. Existing technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain make the metaverse possible. One can suspect that gaming will have a solid place in the metaverse. The metaverse could permanently transform the way we shop, socialize, and attend events… in other words, the possibilities are nearly endless.
We’re at the cusp of bringing the metaverse to life. However, the technology needed to make the metaverse work smoothly has a way to go. Low latency connectivity and increased broadband availability are key to increasing access to the metaverse and helping it run smoothly.
Unlike its predecessors, cloud gaming allows users to stream games in real-time from the cloud. This takes the place of expensive hardware or downloading games to local devices. For ease of explanation, some describe cloud gaming as the “Netflix of gaming.” Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Nvidia are some of the technology powerhouses betting big on cloud gaming today.
The cloud gaming industry is expected to reach $14 billion by 2027. Still, there’s work to be done. Most importantly, US broadband infrastructure isn’t fully prepared in many areas for this form of gaming, especially in rural areas.
Luckily, the Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act aims to tackle this issue with widespread broadband investment. What’s more, cloud gaming runs optimally with low latency connectivity and edge computing. These are features that not all gamers have access to yet. Otherwise, buffering and lost connections take away from the overall experience.
Podcasting has quickly become a favorite medium for consuming content and growth isn’t expected to slow anytime soon. In fact, the podcast listener base is expected to grow to 164 million by 2023. Today, podcast listeners spend an average of six hours and 39 minutes a week listening to podcasts.
The media and entertainment industry has capitalized on the success of podcasts in a few interesting ways. First, entertainment industry creatives are scooping up podcast IP to create new shows and movies – to varying degrees of success. For an industry exhausted by remakes, sequels, and overdone storylines, podcast IP provides a refreshing set of stories and ideas.
On the other hand, movie and TV show IP is being leveraged for podcast stories. DC Comics, for example, developed a superhero stories series for Spotify. Fans are constantly looking for ways to engage with their favorite entertainment brands. Podcasts provide a fresh avenue for exploring fan engagement opportunities.
Not unlike the metaverse, NFTs have been a buzzy topic in the media and entertainment realm and beyond lately. And also not unlike the metaverse, the conversation around NFTs is divisive. Some feel that NFTs will change the world while others think they’re a waste of money and a passing fad.
If you aren’t yet familiar, an NFT, or non-fungible token, is a unique digital asset that exists on a blockchain. Blockchain technology allows these tokens to be secure, verifiable, traceable, and unique.
Some entertainment brands are already taking advantage of NFTs in various ways. Here are a few use cases with examples:
The most obvious and perhaps most widely used case for NFTs today is in the form of collectibles. In fact, crypto research firm BigToken anticipates that 70% of the digital collectible market will derive from sports, television, or movie IP. The NBA offers NFTs in the form of game highlight video clips on NBA Top Shots.
A newsworthy topic on their own, NFTs can help build buzz around a new TV show or movie. To build hype around the release of “The Matrix Resurrections” Warner Bros released 100,000 NFT avatars on the Nifty platform.
NFTs provide creators with new revenue opportunities. They can help them raise money for larger projects or support existing ones. Stoner Cats raised a total of $8.5 million by selling over 10,000 NFTs in exchange for access to the series.
In some cases, NFTs can be the creative projects themselves. NFT distribution platform Vuele released the first ever NFT film Zero Contact to a very limited audience. As a result, they effectively generated interest in the sci-fi thriller, raised money, and introduced a novel form of film distribution.
NFTs will continue to change how creators engage with fans, market their creations, raise money, and distribute content.
Powering What’s Next in Media and Entertainment
The future of media and entertainment is undoubtedly exciting. At the same time, a lot must be done to improve the technologies that make these innovations possible.
Here at Zayo, we’re committed to providing the infrastructure needed to make this future possible. We’re constantly building, overbuilding, and improving our network to provide our valued customers with the best possible connectivity.
Want to discuss connectivity, innovation, and what’s next? Come by booth #W8513 at NAB to chat with us. Click here to schedule a meeting at NAB with our industry expert, AJ Moul.