3 min read
When it comes to global entertainment, the pandemic has created a real paradox. On the one hand, the entertainment industry has been one of the industries that has been hit the hardest in these past few years. But on the other hand, entertainment consumption has surged as Covid amplified the importance of entertainment in our lives.
Looking at how creativity has always thrived through adversity, Project Reset’s Rick Edwards welcomes Joel & Benji Madden, co-founders of MDDN & VEEPS; Jon Giegengack, Principal and founder of Hub Entertainment Research; and TV and radio presenter Maya Jama as they discuss how the industry could evolve to be more accessible and enticing than ever before.
It’s no secret that people’s consumption habits have changed. Streaming platforms alone saw a massive spike on viewership and other companion apps, like House Party, for example, became massively popular as a way of sharing what we were watching and listening to with others. And why not? With more time in our hands and nothing to do but stay at home we’ve probably become consumers of things that we weren’t before.
Unsurprisingly, these new habits we seem to have developed will follow us into the future. As plenty of research has noted, the only thing the pandemic did was accelerate trends that were already happening regardless. Before Covid, people were already consuming more content than ever before, and digital platforms accounted for more of an increase than regular TV. That will remain consistent.
Another interesting finding, according to Giegengack, is the amount of people who noted a bigger connection with their favorite studio shows, like newscasts and talk shows, when they were being produced from home rather than on a big, high-quality set. For some, not having a live audience makes it feel more intimate and for others, that kind of content looks a lot like what they’re used to, especially younger generations who grew up on YouTube, Tik Tok and Podcasts.
Going into the future, the key is not to replace, recreate or replicate. The key is to provide a virtual in-the-box experience that opens up the space to create something different, more intimate, and with a lot more storytelling. Does this mean that in the future digital will supersede live? Probably not. Live events and live music are not going away any time soon, and just because we have more choices than ever before, it doesn’t mean that we will stick to one forever.
Live events will still play a major role because part of the human experience is touching and feeling, is interacting with people and asking questions. In the end, great art and great experience wins every time, although in the future it might take more of an experience to draw people out as they become more selective in which events to attend and which not to, whether it is concerts, movie premieres, plays, etc.
It will also become important for the entertainment industry to focus on representation as more and more people are demanding that what they see reflect real life and both productions and companies become as inclusive as possible. Throughout many lockdowns, people have become increasingly aware of social issues, which means that there is a collective feeling that enough is enough and that it is about time we, as a society, start having these uncomfortable conversations in all areas, especially entertainment.
Looking into the future, there are a lot of possibilities and there is a growing sense of connection between artists and their fans that blossomed during the pandemic and that will inevitably shape the years to come.