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Digital consumption habits How tomorrow’s audiences will reshape entertainment

Report by Hanna Kahlert
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The 20,000 Foot View: Digital-first access has shaped mainstream consumption, but for digital natives, it has also shaped their core behaviours. Music consumption is now fragmented across artists, becoming a personalised, anytime anywhere activity – making the value exchange more niche and personal. Video streaming services have oversaturated the marketplace, competing directly for attention time with social video among younger consumers. Meanwhile, games and sports have managed to capitalise on engaged digital habits by developing cross-platform value – highlighting an emerging cultural trend of lean-in participation as the next expression of fandom. This is the culture of creation as consumption. 

Key insights

  • Music listening is now largely correlated to activity, with        of consumers discovering new music from mood and activity-based playlists in        2020
  • While streaming has commodified music – fragmenting fandom and relegating it to a background audio activity, it remains a very personalised form of        of        year olds discover music regularly through personalised playlists, rising to        of 20-24 year olds and dropping slightly to        of        year olds
  • While fragmented music listening allows for niche fan bases for creators, fragmented video services and viewing have led to direct competition and attention saturation 
  • One way to mitigate against increased subscriber churn in the face of a recession will be to bundle subscription offerings
  • However, while older video viewers may prefer the simplicity of bundled streaming propositions, younger consumers may not be interested in adopting the bundled service model which is now appearing in digital media offerings
  • Digital native viewing habits are fragmented across platforms both social and streaming, and the use cases for video differ from those of digital migrants, i.e. using familiar TV shows as background entertainment, social concurrent viewing, or lean-in favourites 
  • Gaming and sports have successfully navigated the cross-lateral context landscape, offering game video streams, which function like live sports events, and sports leagues in video game form
  • Cross-media games collaborations with sports, film and music have now made ‘lean-in’ participative content consumption a dominant feature among younger digital native consumers
  • Advertisers must more carefully assess the context of their brand placements, such as whether their ads are being seen in primary or tertiary attention locations
  • Rights holders must also become more aware of their content placements and partnerships. For example, it is beneficial to compete across different entertainment formats e.g. games, video and audio all related to the same IP

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+, Call of Duty, Discovery+, Disney+, ESPN+, FFA, GameStop, hay, HBO Max, Hulu, Madden NFL, MUBI, NBA        Netflix, Peacock, Star, The Witcher, Tubi TV, Twitch, YouTube, TikTok

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