It’s been a few months since the COVID-19 wave hit the world. We all have experienced how it feels locked down in our homes, work from home scenarios, managing home responsibilities and adjusting to a new normal world. While some of us find it frustrating, some are grateful that we now have multiple ways to escape boredom and stress. Keeping up to speed with emerging media and entertainment trends is one of them.
No doubt, we all miss movie theaters, malls, and the full flushed crowd on every Friday. However, now, the digital platforms like Amazon and Netflix are making sure that we never lose our favorite movies and our interests are backed up with tons of options to relive those experiences. These OTT platforms ensure that their content should offer people a sense of peace, relaxation, and entertainment at the same time.
According to KPMG the projected ‘digital billion’ trajectory of India is set to accelerate significantly by virtue of the lock-down. This is not just due to the addition of new users but also because of the increasing comfort and confidence of existing digital citizenry.
“Impactful communications play a critical role in the global effort to limit the spread of coronavirus and its impact on society. Our industry has shown how creativity can help encourage people to stay at home, adopt healthy behaviors, protect lives and raise morale” — Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP
Virtual shows and music concerts have been on the entertainment industries’ radars for a few years, but now, it has highly accelerated due to these uncertain times. Artists have found their own space for entertaining their thousands of fans at the same time. Instagram lives streams are one of those spaces. In these quarantine times, fans and artists both came together and created fun hashtags like “#togetherathome” and “#quarantine concerts”.
Since the M&E industry falls under essential services, news channels and media never really felt the lockdown hitting them with uncertainty. In fact, they are the only sources of correct information left for us to consume information daily. They got the much-needed push with a high amount of viewership, and people hooked to look for news and developments related to COVID-19.
The new flow of knowledge and the need for escapism during these times go hand in hand among viewers sitting at home. This is the only reason why the demand for content is anticipated to be high, specifically real content.
“The search for reliable and accurate information related to the pandemic has driven trust in news sources to an all-time high with traditional media seeing the biggest gain. Media trust overall is still damaged by low confidence in social media, with 65% of people worried about the spread of fake news. People want trustworthy information from sources with credentials, including scientists, medical doctors and healthcare professionals.” Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman quoted.
The live-streaming platform is an eye-opening media and entertainment trend in 2020. From Zoom lectures to Twitch concerts and entirely virtual book launches, people are watching more live streaming than ever. Twitch — the world’s leading live-streaming platform for gamers — saw maximum growth in terms of sheer hours, jumping 50 percent between March and April (number of hours watched) total up to 1.645 billion hours watched per month.
While the current situation allows people to choose between “killing time” or “using time”. Some are scrutinizing their creative sides on social media platforms in the form of new media and entertainment trends. According to a GlobalWebIndex report, 58% of millennials (aged 24-37) are busy listening to podcasts, reading more valuable content, and 62% GEN Z (aged 16-23) are busy producing content on YouTube and Instagram. From streaming music to producing COVID-19 anthem raps, people are hailing together even in social distancing.
Technology has been a catalyst in the media and entertainment world for a few decades. This new normal is another leap for media and other digital platforms. Our “leisure time” is either going to be invested or consumed in the pre-packaged form of entertainment. As we move from response to the recovery phase of COVID-19, it would be interesting to see how the M&E industry derives new strategies to be more successful.