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The Digital Disruption of Entertainment and Media

Entertainment and media has been an industry
going through incredible change. Now, what does the future look like? Let’s talk about
the details. Today, we’re going to talk about the global entertainment and media industry, an immense industry that drives a lot of the things that we do and enjoy every day all
over the world. Now, it’s important we stop and think about what pays for all of this entertainment,
and there basically are three different models. One of the biggest and most popular has long
been advertising-driven entertainment; that is, when you watch television, it frequently
is being delivered to you, at least to some extent, through the power of advertisers who
are paying huge money to have their ads put on the cable channel you’re watching or on
the broadcast channel you’re watching. Same thing with radio: advertising has driven media
and publishing forever. But there’s also outright purchase. If you buy a book, or if you buy
a movie on a disc, you suddenly own it. You take it home, you can use it over and over
again, you can share it with your friends in an unrestricted manner, loan it to somebody.
So, there’s advertising-driven, there’s entertainment that you purchase, but to a growing extent
today there is subscription-driven. For instance, the phenomenal success of Netflix; you don’t
own a Netflix production, you don’t own the movies you watch through Netflix, you just
pay for it by a very reasonable and convenient monthly subscription. And the quality that
Netflix and a few other streaming media companies have been able to deliver is absolutely disrupting
the traditional media industry. That brings up one of the biggest changes in entertainment
and media of all, and that is the fact that the consumer is now in control of when, where,
and how to enjoy the entertainment. Consumers can carry it around with them, whatever format
they want–on their tablet, on their smartphone, on a fixed device in the home or office–they
can choose what content out of the archives or out of the current offerings they want
to watch, they can turn it on and off, they can come and go, they can ignore the ads if
there are any ads–consumers are almost in total control now. So, what does the future
look like for entertainment and media? For one one thing, growing markets are really
opening up new avenues for companies like Netflix as consumers in nations like Indonesia
and India, where their hundreds of millions of people gain access to the Internet, gain
more affluence as their economies move ahead, and get in the habit of paying for subscription-based
content. That’s really going to drive new revenues for entertainment and media companies
as they approach a bigger global audience. It’s really, really a big boost. Next, things
like 5G wireless are making it better and better for people to carry their entertainment
around with them, download it faster, and have a more enjoyable viewing or listening
experience as they go along. Over the near-future, watch for more and more what I would call
immersive entertainment, things where the viewer can use virtual reality and other technologies
to be more involved in the entertainment they’re watching, to feel more like they’re there,
and just like in the electronic games industry perhaps be able to make some choices online
in saying, “Well, I’d really like to see my film take this ending or that ending instead
of the traditional ending.” Watch for continued rapid growth in the subscription-based delivery
of media and entertainment, more and more cord-cutting, faster and faster downloads
thanks to better Internet, and much more immersive and consumer-involved entertainment choices.
Now, for everything you need to know about this industry, be sure to see Plunkett’s Entertainment
and Media Industry Almanac, which we rewrite and republish every year, and it’s a standard
reference item in universities, libraries, and corporate offices all over the world,
and the related Entertainment and Media Industry Research Center at Plunkett Research Online.

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