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COVID 19 and Predicted Effects on the Entertainment Industry

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As the world slowly emerges from the global pandemic, things are slowly going back to normal. The so-called “new normal”, at least. The pandemic has disrupted not just our everyday lives but it has managed to disrupt entire industries.

The trends that have emerged during the pandemic or the ones that have existed before but were significantly accelerated during lockdowns are here to stay. What comes next is anyone’s guess but it seems like the entertainment industry is going to have to adapt to the new circumstances.

The fact of the matter is that the world has changed permanently. No one might’ve guessed that it will take a bit more than a year of lockdowns and sanitary measures to have such drastic impact on the entertainment industry.

Numerous theaters have closed down and even though a lot of them are preparing to reopen, there are still quite a few that aren’t even considering it. After all, cinemas experienced a drastic decrease of 70.4%, hitting the movie industry pretty hard.

Still, people love to be entertained and it’s highly likely that cinemas around the world will get back on their feet sooner rather than later. With that in mind, here are a few predicted effects on the entertainment industry.

The rise of streaming services

The streaming service trend existed way before the pandemic but this trend has gained a lot of momentum in just over a year. Streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon and others experience a significant growth in usage during 2020. People were mostly stuck at home with nothing to do.

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That’s why they decided to watch shows and movies, perhaps all of them. You’ve probably heard people saying: “I’ve watched everything on Netflix” more than once by now. Streaming movies and TV shows is pretty much the future.

Subscriptions for streaming services are on the rise and people find it convenient for entertainment to be delivered straight to their homes. Cinemas saw an opportunity in streaming services to stay afloat during the pandemic.

Disney+ released the movie Mulan as the premium streaming services prompting a lot of studios to follow. Even Marvel’s Black Widow movie was released the same way, although the movie appeared in theaters later on.

It’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a lot of streamed content from now on because the consumption patterns that appeared during the COVID 19 pandemic are here to stay. The cinemas will certainly reopen but people will still want an option whether to visit a cinema at the release day or stay at home and watch on their preferred device.

Live performances

Live music was one of the sectors of the entertainment industry that was hit the hardest. This sector alone lost 74.4% of its revenue in 2020. Some workarounds were effective to a certain extent. A good example is drive-in concerts and shows.

Although similar to the live experience, it still wasn’t enough to suit the needs of consumers. Fortunately, live performers are truly talented and crafty so they adapted to the situation quite well. A lot of these performers decided to live stream their performance and post it on media channels like YouTube.

People were able to watch their favorite artist perform live shows at their homes. Live videos were edited so that entire bands and even orchestras can perform together, while each individual member was safe in their own home.

This provided the audience with some respite as they too were locked in their homes unable to do much. Online live performances proved to be quite an entertainment everyone so desperately needed. Due to the high demand of live performances, the live music sector will recover easily once the situation with the virus outbreak has improved.

Increase in online gambling

The global pandemic affected people differently. What’s common for everyone is that this virus outbreak had significant negative financial impacts on individuals and industries alike. Many people have lost their jobs and means of income.

That’s why they were trying to find some solace in online entertainment, more specifically online casino games. Casino games have always been a part of the entertainment industry although this is a less talked about sectors due to stigma and controversy that surrounds it. That’s why gambling is illegal in many countries, such as U.S. for example.

But why exactly is gambling illegalin some countries? There are many socio-economic, religious and cultural reasons why some countries ban gambling altogether. People play casino games because they like them or want to try their luck at winning some money.

During the pandemic many people played online casino games, this is the same as going to the brick-and-mortar casino only more suited for situations like the lockdown. People wanted both entertainment and a chance to improve their financial status.

Although the majority of online casinos are highly regulated and licensed, some countries around the world still do not allow their citizens to visit those casinos and play their games for any reason. Nevertheless, people find a way to seek out entertainment even when they’re not allowed to.

The entertainment industry suffered significant losses during the pandemic. However, the ever-growing need for entertainment generated by consumers all over the world promise that this industry will fare better than the rest. Things will get back to normal, although it may be a different kind of normal. Still, the entertainment industry will simply have to adapt to new consumer demands and trends that govern their behavior. 

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