Reports Media & Marketing

Cultural trends of 2022 A year of inflection points

Report by Hanna Kahlert
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The 20,000 foot view:  Digital-first life is now a bygone fact, from remote working to streaming as the default mode of entertainment consumption. Social media has evolved from its role as a personalised update feed, to a world of its own – encompassing basic creator tools from recording, to editing, to self-promotion. The digitalisation of skills sharing has enabled ever more people to take up the mantle of creator, rather than simply being a consumer. Ever-improving discovery algorithms are linking niche content to audiences of superfans, allowing localised content to spread globally, reaching levels of success that are impossible in a mainstream market. Fundamentally, digital-first life has prompted the need for a rethinking of the distinction between ‘real life’ and ‘online’. For digital natives, these realms have never been distinct, and with increased online familiarity and control, the rest of the world is catching up. 2022 will see the dissolution of traditional entertainment borders: between content categories, artists and audiences, and the worlds of online and ‘reality’. 

Key Insights

  • The current            in consumption habits are largely            to the two-pronged advance of            content proliferation and technology innovation
  • Fans are            going beyond pure consumption, with            barrier to access for digital            lowering exponentially, often either engaging            with creators or creating their            things in response – further            the lines between consumers and           
  • These ‘lean            behaviours exhibit a high degree            fandom, but they are difficult            track using traditional metrics
  • At the            of too much content (including            which is produced by consumers)            high discovery, anything unique stands            as appealing
  • This, combined            digital-first habits, means that ‘localised’            can now (more easily) see            on a global scale
  • Heightened competition            about by the growing phenomenon            unique, international content will cause            for advertising – which, rather            being created for the sake            artistic expression, is made to            for purpose, and thus is            likely to capture attention
  • For digital            IRL and digital-first experiences complement            rather than compete with –            other
  • Be it            overlapping the real world, sports            branching into esports, music listening            being primarily on-the-go, or digital            preferring social media platforms that            their IRL activities, the worlds            digital and IRL have ceased            be distinct
  • Digital and            are not beginning to overlap,            rather have already merged
  • The rise            NFTs highlights the final phase            this blended reality, wherein real            can now be exchanged for            items
  • Radio listening            declining in younger generations, while            music is growing, as            of            to the radio weekly (compared            half of all consumers) and            music every week (compared to            all consumers)

Companies and brands mentioned in this report :Amazon Prime Video, BandLab, Bridgerton, Dark, Donda Stem, Facebook, Google, Instagram, McDonalds, Meta, Microsoft, Money Heist, NBA,            Netflix, Pokémon GO, Queen’s Gambit, Rick and Morty, Snapchat, SoundCloud, Spotify, Squid Game, The Witcher, TikTok, Twitch, Vans, YouTube, Zoom

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