Once we get nine months and 12 months in, all these media companies are going to start feeling some really intense economic damage. If you think about Loews, they literally haven’t had people in movie theaters for months. I just watched my favorite [soccer] team, Liverpool, play and the German and English leagues are back, but they’re playing in empty stadiums. That’s the big challenge for all the concerts and any kind of touring and professional sports. And that affects the music industry because most artists make money off of touring these days, not off record sales.
In that erratic secondary stage, people’s home entertainment priorities will probably persist. So those places that rely more on high numbers of participants are going to continue to struggle in a very bad way. That is where the kind of indecision of the government and the kind of insecurity of the population will cause economic trauma for those industries and that whole situation will become unstable.
Clinical Associate Professor at NYU who specializes in media culture
Entertainment media experiences are augmented with lackluster creation that minimally enhances storytelling or the artist-to-fan, fan-to-fan connection. If consumers don’t demand it or technology companies don’t heed the desire for control over personal data, privacy will continue to be a stumbling block, causing some viewers to leave services behind. Depending on decisions by leaders in the space, fragmented platforms and poor design could make consuming experiences a hassle, or impossible.
Both as we look for new forms of entertainment and interaction and as studios are limited by pandemics in the number of human actors that can be used to create content, the use of avatars and virtual beings will grow. This will become quickly adopted by GenZ who are already accustomed to playing characters in games. Also, if personal avatars are not available cross-platform, they would need to be recreated repeatedly, causing friction in use. At the same time, sound may continue to be a secondary thought, which would minimize the realism of the experience.
Managing Partner, WXR Fund, investing in early stage companies with female leadership that are transforming business and human interaction using spatial computing (VR/AR) and AI.
Live entertainment is the lifeblood of media monetization. While lockdown has limited the ability for studios to develop new shows and has resulted in sports leagues canceling or suspending entire seasons, audiences are still hungry for premium video entertainment and experiences. Content creators will need to turn to innovation to keep their products fresh and interesting in the new normal. WWE have pre-taped their pay-per-view events to deliver a more innovative product in the absence of live audiences and the energy that brings to a broadcast. Traditional sports leagues might need to turn to AR/VR as a way to deliver the premium and more interactive experiences that both fans and brand advertisers expect from live sporting events.
Executive Vice President, Head of Media Development and Audience Measurement, North America, Ipsos
One of the things I’ve noticed is the content that you’re seeing is being produced in people’s homes, even for celebrities. And they don’t have their makeup artists or their hair stylists. With a lot of these celebrities and YouTubers where some of the mask is falling, you’re seeing more authenticity from people and that’s a positive. It feels like this is really a special thing. In music, without autotune, without all of the bells and whistles that usually come with it, you’re getting treated to all these acoustic performances and people just being talented without the aid of machinery. The Sondheim birthday concert was a great example of that, where you just had Broadway singers doing what they do best, which is just singing. And there’s a purity to that. Without COVID-19, I don’t think we would have seen or experienced it in the same way. It’s like everyone is now experiencing what gamers have been experiencing on Twitch for the first time. I love that.
Senior Vice President, Head of Content + Platform Strategy, Ipsos Media Development
Some of what we’re seeing with alternative formats for shows, like award shows being virtual, we’ll continue to see that play out. On the innovation side, we might begin to see more creators and talent speaking directly to audiences themselves and telling stories themselves and producing content themselves, because they can. If we don’t get back to normal anytime soon, creators and talent will start to produce and tell stories directly to audiences. We’ve seen John Krasinski produce a series called “Some Good News” from his house that was incredibly successful and ultimately got picked up by a major media company. That type of innovation has a lot of room in terms of being well-received by audiences.
The advertising element of this is also two-fold. Certain brands are significantly pulling back how much they spend. It’s going to force content providers who are ad-supported to be more innovative in how they offer up advertising opportunities, because there’s inevitably going to be a smaller pot to pick from in ad spend over the next year or so, and maybe longer.
Senior Vice President, Ipsos Content Strategy Insights
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