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Media and Entertainment Biz, Now in Quarantine, Faces a Post-Pandemic Future (Guest Column)


The media and leisure enterprise was thriving as we entered the brand new decade in 2020 B.C. (“Earlier than Coronavirus”).

All segments — films, tv, cellular video, music, video games, esports, immersive (VR and AR), dwell and experiential leisure — expanded over the previous decade. Massively. To make certain, new platforms like streaming and cellular cannibalized among the earlier ones (like cable TV) to gasoline that enlargement. However total, creators and shoppers benefited.

Expertise drove a lot of that hovering development and basically remodeled the standard media and leisure enterprise within the course of. Actually altering the ability and leaders in it. A brand new streaming-first world offered the largest problem to conventional studios, birthing a brand new class of tech-driven media corporations that disrupted decades-old enterprise fashions. That prompted slow-moving former “winners” to both relent and be swallowed up by new largely tech-born media champions, or slowly wither away a la the ghosts of Blockbuster previous. The sensible ones selected the previous path.

By 2020 B.C., the trade was characterised by elementary realignment by the hands of game-changing mega-acquisitions. AT&T purchased Time Warner; Disney beat out Comcast to amass 21st Century Fox’s leisure belongings; Comcast struck again to manage Sky; and Viacom and CBS remarried. Sluggish-moving conventional media corporations relented after concluding that dimension actually does matter within the new streaming-first world order.

Netflix had develop into the poster baby for brand new leisure. The corporate modified shopper habits and gave us all a cause to only “chill” (a lot to the chagrin of theater homeowners), setting new guidelines for programming (binge-viewing) and monetization (all-you-can-eat subscriptions). Netflix alone had deliberate to spend greater than $17 billion this yr on new exhibits and flicks for all of us on this courageous new world. That’s nice for each shoppers (extra content material, extra selection) and the inventive neighborhood (extra creativity, extra work). Netflix and all of the others vying for our consideration drove a brand new “Golden Age of Hollywood.”

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/media-and-entertainment-biz-now-in-quarantine-faces-a-post-pandemic-future-guest-column/73498/ by Cecilia Jones on 2020-03-25T13:45:25.000Z

After which the pandemic hit.

Now Netflix, like basically everybody else in Hollywood, has shut down all productions. That implies that its TV and film provide chain dries up instantly, similar to provide chains for numerous different main industries. And shoppers will really feel it. That can imply fewer authentic exhibits on Netflix and in all different distribution channels later this yr.

However not less than initially — till shoppers have exhausted Netflix’s provide of “contemporary” content material — the streaming chief really advantages from our quarantined, front room methods. So will different streamers, together with Amazon Prime Video (the No. 2 participant), Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and people which can be coming quickly (HBO Max and Peacock).

Others within the enterprise, like these within the inventive neighborhood itself, are merely out of labor. And even when it’s protected to return into the water, it would take substantial time to retool and get well and get again to baseline.

The out-of-home leisure phase — theatrical, dwell and experiential leisure — takes the largest hit from the pandemic onslaught. “Hit” isn’t the appropriate phrase: Fairly, it’s a direct physique slam. The pandemic pulled plugs all over the world on main dwell sporting occasions, music festivals, live shows, and exhibits – to not point out your complete movie show enterprise. Main studios have now totally opened conventional launch home windows to capitalize on the brand new housebound realities. Now that genie is out of the bottle.

The coronavirus additionally threatens the well being of conventional broadcasters and cable TV. In a streaming-first world, content material that calls for to be dwell – dwell information and sports activities particularly – is their lifeblood. Think about the impression on NBC with out the 2020 Summer season Olympics and cable TV with out ESPN’s dwell sports activities. All main leagues at the moment are on hiatus indefinitely. Will that speed up wire reducing by cash-strapped shoppers? Sure, it may. For dwell information, individuals can now get their repair through standalone apps.

Talking of apps, social media will thrive throughout these darkish days. Fb (collectively, with its Instagram and WhatsApp household) continues to be the dominant weaver of our digital social material. However prior to now few years, Fb model has been tarnished. Critics cost that the enormous regarded the opposite manner because it enabled “faux information” — a phenomenon that turned, and continues to be, a dominant downward-spiraling media story.

Music does its greatest to calm our fraying nerves throughout these tumultuous instances, because the recording trade entered the brand new decade singing yet one more joyful tune of streaming-led double-digit development. Streaming music’s overwhelming dominance erased 20 years of trade doom and gloom.

And there’s no cause to consider that in the present day’s coronavirus realities will trigger us to hit our Spotify “pause” buttons. In any case, we take heed to music – escape with it – throughout dangerous instances in addition to good. Maybe much more so. Of all types of leisure, music holds distinctive energy to encourage and ease ache, each individually and collectively. So the recorded music trade – excluding its dwell music phase – ought to profit from this pandemic, as unusual as that will appear.

In the meantime, the video-game market greater than tripled the dimensions of Hollywood field workplace worldwide to succeed in $150 billion in 2019, and fueled the expansion of the associated billion-dollar-plus esports trade that’s anticipated to double within the subsequent couple of years. These Gen Y and Z in-home leisure selections needs to be simply tremendous each throughout and after the coronavirus epidemic. Like recorded music and streaming video, demand for video games and esports seemingly will increase as our now home-schooled youngsters more and more flip to these selections as their nice escape. In-home immersive leisure (VR and AR) ought to profit as nicely.

Additionally as we arrived in 2020 B.C., the trade lastly confronted and exorcised its personal private demons and banished a few of its main gamers who for years had acted with impunity. Most notably, longtime mogul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in jail for sexual assault. #MeToo is altering the face (and faces) of the media and leisure enterprise, fairly actually. Meaning extra various voices, telling extra various tales, to extra various audiences – as soon as that storytelling can start once more.

Amidst all of this tumult, if ever there have been a necessity for high quality, binge-worthy escapist leisure, these had been these instances. Fortunately, now we have loads of nice content material with which to hunker down throughout a surreal election yr.

In some unspecified time in the future, we’ll all as soon as once more step exterior, and the enterprise of media and leisure will return to its total long-term pattern of trade positivity and prosperity. Not as a result of we select to disregard the coronavirus’s potential lasting and painful particular person impacts. Fairly, as a result of previous is prologue, and human creativity and ingenuity that leverages the transformational energy of latest expertise have overcome black swans earlier than to hurry restoration and development.

We shoppers will demand it right here. Storytelling is just too important to us.

It’s not a luxurious. It’s an actual human want.

Peter Csathy is founder and chairman of Creatv Media, a media, leisure and expertise enterprise growth, M&A, advisory and artistic companies agency.

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About The Authors

Cecilia Jones

Cecilia Jones - Cecilia Jones loves to write about movies, music, and the most popular and exciting news.

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