Presently, people are consuming digital media and entertainment at an alarming rate. In fact, the rate of consumption is significantly faster than before the pandemic began. A study conducted in August 2021 indicates that 84% of consumers spent more time watching online entertainment at home. The study also found that 69% of consumers planned to increase or maintain their video streaming habits for the upcoming year. Additionally, another 71% of users from the study say they spend most of their time on social media.
The media and entertainment industries are not unaware of this trend. They’ve noted how many consumers consume their content. These companies see the opportunity and that prompts them to produce more content than before. However, many industry giants also find out that creating content for the sake of it is not enough. They must adopt new strategies based on customer data.
Our team analyzed the industry and found several trends that will impact the media and entertainment industry. Listed below are those trends.
AR and VR are pivotal in the media and entertainment industry
The current trend in digital media is one where ignoring AR and VR does not make sense. AR and VR are the next level of immersion in the media and entertainment industry. The two technologies strengthen relationships between creators and consumers. Today’s consumers are those who can experience a digital environment that blurs the line between the physical and the digital.
AR and VR existed in the technology sphere for many years. Recently though, they’ve become accessible thanks to the ramp down in costs. Companies and celebrities understand the need for keeping in touch with their fans and AR and VR can help achieve that.
A keen example of these technologies working out is the game Pokemon Go. Several social networks believe in the potential of AR and VR. According to them, these technologies provide affordability and mobility for things like live streaming. Also, AR and VR entertainment boosts the user experience to even greater heights. In 2022, we will see companies work to optimize AR and VR content and make it so that users on different devices can use them.
Boost in gaming
In 2020, the pandemic forced the world to cancel all sporting events and avoid any possible health risks. During that time, gaming and eSports remedied the problem and provided people a way to watch their matches without attending stadiums.
In 2021, this remedy became the driving force for interest in interactive tech, gaming, and a better user experience. Gaming will continue its trajectory and development plan, similar to other digital tech innovations. It is possible that the industry will change the way we communicate with each other.
Experts state that several digital industry trends will emerge from games, trends like live events, and betting. Recent studies indicate that most in-person entertainment events came under the category of live in-game concerts. In these concerts, 40% of users liked them over other in-game activities like virtual simulations of social life or film previews. That is among the many new trends in digital media and entertainment that can boost the gaming industry.
AI trends in media and entertainment
Another new trend in the media and entertainment industry is artificial intelligence. This trend is significantly impacting VFX, radio, TV, and other mediums. The media and entertainment industry has a sizable unstructured digital data repository they do nothing with. AI instruments can organize and analyze the data and turn it into something useful. Measures like AI, ML, and native language processing can help in predicting user engagement with content.
Artificial intelligence can quickly estimate and retrieve emotional changes. This information is vital for the media and entertainment industries to understand customer behavior and digital media consumption trends. This data ensures the possibility of providing custom recommendations on ways to improve and update content.
Several streaming applications utilize AI technology alongside smart learning algorithms. This approach enables these services to provide content that their audience will most likely enjoy and want more of.
AI innovations aid with classifying digital data based on mutual features. This way, companies can predict user engagement and provide greater monetization opportunities. For example, Spotify uses various AI solutions when deciding the recommendations for new music users will fall in love with. The result of implementing this technology is an increased subscriber retention rate.
AI assists us in understanding how the media and entertainment industry will affect users on an emotional level. Additionally, it prevents media organizations from embarrassing themselves or facing a PR crisis.
One trend that springs to everyone’s mind when discussing media is blockchain. This technology is an integral part of crypto in most people’s minds. Blockchain could simplify intricacies related to intellectual property rights in the media and entertainment industry.
Blockchain can save and process vast quantities of data in real-time. This method is how it assists in defining the NFT digital content author. Blockchain helps avoid issues with plagiarism and duplicate content. Digital information stored on a blockchain network is difficult or impossible to alter.
Additionally, the influence of NFTs in the industry cannot be denied. NFTs, bring scarcity to digital products. Blockchain and NFTs drive forward new models of customer loyalty and opens the door to digital innovation. Examples of NFTs include Bored Ape Yacht Club, Everyday’s, Cryptokitties, Axie Infinity, etc.
Sports and wellbeing
Typically, people maintain bad habits for a short while and later shift to a healthier lifestyle. Hence, fitness apps play an important role in many aspects of human life. The most notable names here include Peloton and Zwift. Recently, ax throwing is taking off as a fitness hobby. Presently, it is possible to find a fitness app for almost any purpose.
Another notable fitness trend is bikepacking. These activities are not new to the business but rose to popularity in 2022. It is possible to view several fitness videos on VOD platforms like Teachable, Uscreen Basic, and Memberspace. Additionally, apps like Map My Run, Fitness buddy, and JEFIT are ideal for anyone getting into fitness.
Alongside sports and fitness apps, there is growing popularity in wellbeing apps. Overall, there are many software categories with the purpose of supporting our mental health. Examples of these categories include mental health diagnosis apps, AI mental health apps, mental health monitoring apps, and more. These apps are different based on their functionality but they all have a single objective and that is supporting our health.
Metaverse and immersive internet
Many big tech giants plan to focus on the metaverse and the creation of fully-rendered virtual environments. Hence, we can expect to see this trend rise in popularity in 2022 and beyond.
A Metaverse, in other words, is a digital environment where people can interact, play games, work, network, go to concerts, and participate in other virtual activities. It does not specifically refer to any technology and instead, it includes various technologies like AR, VR, IoT devices, blockchain, etc. These technologies come together to help users interact with digital entities like they were real. Additionally, Bloomberg expects the Metaverse market to reach a market size of 800 billion USD by 2024.
Big companies like Facebook, Amazon, Roblox, Nvidia, and Microsoft are already betting big on Metaverse’s potential. One of the most notable examples of Metaverse working well is Fortnite, created by Epic Games. This game perfectly showcases the real value of these entertainment trends. Fortnite has over 15 million concurrent users and has an additional viewer count of 3.4 billion on YouTube and Twitch. Epic Games has successfully united players around the world to experience virtual events, concerts, exhibitions, and shows.
We should accept that the Metaverse is one of the more dynamic technology trends in 2022. Additionally, the platform comes with several opportunities for brand promotion, content creation, customer engagement, and content distribution.
There are several factors that can affect the customers’ preferences and moods. Hence, recommendations for users must come through a seamless and clean user interface. The trick for any business is to win and retain user interest and persuade them to get unbiased information.
One way to discover new content and enrich the cultural life of customers is through recommendation systems. For example, users looking for educational content may be interested in informative content such as literature, history, and science.
Examples of personalized content include interactive puzzles, games, surveys, retargeted ads on social media, and personalized emails.
OTT content advertisements
Presently, the on-demand streaming industry is the most popular way to consume content. However, OTT or over-the-top is the next stage of ad evolution for the small screen. It is one of the major video content trends in the media and entertainment industry.
The reason for this prediction is the benefit OTT content provides. As an example, anyone who consumes OTT content can watch their favorite shows and movies without having to deal with an annoying ad every ten or fifteen minutes. This way, they are less annoying to viewers.
The only way to stay ahead of the competition today is through adopting business models that rely on ad-supported content. There are several media and entertainment firms that understand that. However, there are many more companies that lack the technology or the experience to make such a change.
YouTube was the first content service to utilize this business model. After that came Netflix. They added more than four million subscribers back in 2021. Presently, many households are using on-demand TV streaming services and that is causing a gradual decline in traditional TV broadcasting.
On-demand streaming services are available for people looking to control when they want to quit watching a show and start with a new one. Consequently, this freedom is a significant reason why we’re seeing a proliferation of OTT platforms.
Evidently, media companies and TV studios see immense benefit from getting into the OTT space. Here, they have an extensive viewership of their advertisement slots. This digital streaming trend will only grow in 2022 and the following years.
The year 2021 was all about perseverance. The year 2022 will be about taking bold bets and experimenting with content. We’ve noticed several notable shifts in consumer tastes at the start of the year. It is essential that the media and entertainment industry take note of these trends. They must be ready to face new concepts, adopt innovative business models, and integrate new technologies. That way, they will stand ahead of the competition and attract the biggest audience.