Reports Media & Marketing

2020 in review Lockdown legacy impacts on entertainment

Report by Hanna Kahlert
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Digital connections have filled the void left by real-world activities, globalising culture and experience. Yet this comes at the cost of deepening divides in trust and perspective. Changing economic circumstances have brought about a demographic dichotomy of age and income. Cohorts of higher security and spending power have become of more financial importance to commercial and entertainment propositions, while younger consumers of less financial security and power still hold the most cultural value in the attention economy. 

The early signs of recession have already begun to harshen these trends. However, adversity begets innovation. Just as in 2008, following global financial recession (WhatsApp, Spotify), new commercial and consumer innovations look like they will emerge from the pandemic year (live music streaming, UGC, streaming-first films). Much change was already incubating but has now been given the chance to break out. From monetising fandom to generating new creator income streams, new solutions are emerging as old habits evolve to fit the new normal, making a return to the old normal impossible. The pandemic has already had lasting impacts on society and culture. 

Key insights

  • Due to            time at home saw a            of priorities and attention with            time in particular seeing a           
  • Despite resulting            on digital connectivity, trust in            news and social media diminished,            the importance of ‘in real            (IRL) 
  • Digital fatigue            with polarising global events to            a climate of tension, culturally            economically, which has yet to            resolved
  • The effects            both the pandemic and potential            have impacted younger            consumers the            financially and socially. This has            a priority shift in entertainment            older, better-off consumers 
  • Monetising fandom            enabled by both broad cultural            and focus on niche audiences,            games companies in particular seeing            success, and new cross-entertainment collaborations            new possibilities for creators –            beginners, to veterans and current           
  • Content monetisation            built on legacy formats –            as films relied on the            experience or pay-TV relied on            for big game day viewing,            now being forced to recalibrate            streaming-first consumption decimates profit margins
  • Live-streamed virtual            have been to the live            as iTunes was to album            bringing convenience and lower price            (and ‘unbundling’ location) which may            affect the genre 

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+, Disney+, Donald Trump, Dune, Fox News, Game of Thrones, HBO Max, Home Depot, Houseparty, James Bond, Lord of the Rings, Netflix, Resolution Foundation, Star Wars, The Economist, TikTok, Twitter, Unilever, Warner Bros., Zoom

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