The media and entertainment industry is technology-driven. This includes everything from cutting-edge special effects developed for films (and then adopted by other industries) to streaming media, virtual reality gaming and new delivery channels for news, music and advertising.
During the pandemic, even the few remaining analog entertainment options — like music concerts and theater — shifted to digital. While we’ll (hopefully) return to spending more time away from home in 2022, creators and producers looking to maintain the longer reach they’ve developed will likely continue to innovate in this area.
So here’s my rundown of some of the key trends that will impact the way we consume media and digital entertainment over the next 12 months. Please note that this article does not cover gaming trends which, while technically considered entertainment, will be covered in an upcoming article.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to have a transformative impact across the media industry. Within this branch, the three most important functions will be recommendation, speech recognition and media automation. Ever since the arrival of Netflix and streaming services turned the way we discover and consume entertainment media upside down, every provider has invested in recommendation technology to deliver content more efficiently and accurately to audiences who find it valuable. Netflix has said that 80% of its content delivery comes from recommendations, and like all other streaming providers, it will struggle to improve on that score throughout 2022.
Likewise, media companies will continue to strive to develop increasingly useful and accurate speech recognition systems. Speech is increasingly becoming the preferred way for audiences to communicate with services getting better at using natural language algorithms to understand what we want them to do.
AI is also used in content automation, for example to generate snippets of movies or music that are most likely to appeal to us, to use in previews and thumbnails. So if a service knows we tend to be romantic, when previewing a movie that contains both action and romance elements, we’re more likely to see snippets of scenes with romance elements.
Virtual events, performances and shows have grown in popularity while much of society has been in lockdown or restricted in how often we can leave our homes. This heralded the birth of the Metaverse – online, persistent and interconnected digital environments where we can meet to socialise, work and of course be entertained! Metaverse performances like Ariana Grande and Bruno Mars concerts that took place in the online game Fortnite last year are just a small taste of what’s to come. While the metaverse may not quite reach the level of Ready Player One by 2022, it’s increasingly becoming a place where we can share entertainment experiences with friends from the comfort of our homes. Streaming services like Hulu and Disney Plus already include “Watch Party” features that let you share movie time with groups of friends wherever you are in the world. However, alongside new collaborative ways to experience old forms of entertainment, such as movies and music, in online environments, the Metaverse will make entirely new forms of entertainment a reality, such as B. Exploring virtual environments – Disney has announced plans to create a Metaverse theme park. for example.
Non-fungible tokens — blockchain-based certificates used to record ownership of digital assets and enable “unique” digital content — are controversial but undeniably revolutionary. And the media and entertainment industry is certainly not immune to its potentially transformative impact. While we’ve seen them primarily used to facilitate the sale of digital artworks, we’ll increasingly see them for everything from IP management to selling show-based content. Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon’s new show, Krapopolis, is set to be fully curated on Blochchain and will feature its own marketplace for trading NFTs based on the show. NFTs also have the potential to impact the way artists and stars build relationships with their fans by allowing them to release exclusive collections that can be collected as fans interact with their idols digitally, much like autographs used to record real encounters !
Social media 2.0
Social media is always evolving – how many people reading this are still updating their myspace page? Facebook is still by far the largest social network, but 2022 will continue to shed users, especially younger ones, to newer competitors as they continue to be drawn to the ‘next big thing’. Social media 2.0 can be defined as a desire to overcome some of the negative aspects identified in “traditional” social media. These include data and privacy concerns, identity theft, the spread of misinformation and fake news, and the resulting opportunities for trolling and bullying behavior. Social Media 2.0 also embodies the concept that the way we consume traditional media from networks like CNN and Fox News is rapidly changing. Today, it is becoming more and more likely that content from these producers will be consumed in bite-sized forms via platforms like Youtube or shared via Twitter and TikTok, where it can be discussed and rated, rather than just being passively consumed. This, in turn, is leading to a shift in the way such content is created – with an added emphasis on content that can be packaged into bite-sized, shareable chunks.
The Creator Economy
Finally, traditional mainstream and mass-market forms of media and entertainment will continue to lose ground to the more personalised, niche and community-oriented media known as the creator economy. Mainstream media will strive to emulate the methods of platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Twitch, positioning their stars and celebrities as “influencers” and incorporating more community-generated content into their production. Short videos and creator-driven platforms are growing in popularity, especially those that allow audiences to develop personal relationships and connections with their favorite creators and influencers. The amount of money paid to creators through the Patreon platform has doubled from $1 billion in 2020 to $2 billion in 2021, and that growth is likely to continue into 2022 to connect with their favorites.
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