Entertainment Growth Trends to Watch in 2023

Image credit: Unsplash

The global entertainment sector is showing all signs of returning to its former strength as studios and developers across the across are once again gearing up to produce world-class entertainment to leave spectators and critics alike spellbound.

But there’s no escaping the fact that the media landscape is a fast moving environment, and one that’s experiencing major shifts as a result of emergent technologies. When Netflix first began offering direct-to-home streaming content in 2007, larger rivals in the DVD rental sector such as Blockbuster failed to recognise the sea-change this represented and promptly folded.

Nowadays, this format, known as OTT – over-the-top, rules the roost of conventional media. All the biggest shows of the past decade, and many of the most successful films, first became available for public consumption through Netflix or its rivals Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and others.

Now, in 2023, new technologies are on the horizon – and while none of these yet point to a shift in the way we access entertainment in the short-term, each has telling consequences for the future of mainstream media. From the metaverse, which holds out the promise of immersive VR shows and games, to AI, which could one day generate all-new movies at the click of a button, seismic changes are over the horizon.

Naturally, these outcomes are still some years out from the present moment. But that’s not to say that other, seemingly more conventional technologies aren’t presently impacting the wider entertainment industry right now. Let’s take a look at some key examples of these below.

High Speed Mobile Internet

The rollout of 5G networks across the globe stands to invert what we thought we knew about internet connectivity. This is because, in many cases, a solid 5G connection is faster than the broadband in your home. 

With smartphones positioned to be the greatest beneficiaries of this development, we will likely increasingly see legacy media produced with a greater awareness of smartphone form-factors. One area that is already miles ahead of the likes of the film and TV sectors in this regard is the games industry.

At present, around 50% of all gamers use their smartphones as their chief gaming device. This makes sense, given that there is an enormous range of games on offer in both the iOS and Android app stores. What’s more, the world’s most popular online game genre, that of real money slots, is most frequently accessed through mobile platforms. 

Legacy media could certainly learn a thing or two from this game-mode, which has deep roots tracing back to the mechanical one-armed bandits of the mid-century Las Vegas strip. Slots games have consistently evolved with the times, incorporating new technologies as they come about and integrating them into their core game design.

Image credit: Unsplash

Multi-format Releases

The past few years saw the advent, by way of necessity, of large scale movie premieres being offered to at home users. From Godzilla vs. Kong, to Dune and The Matrix Resurrections, major studio productions are increasingly being released exclusively to OTT platforms or in simultaneous fashion with their cinematic openings. 

This reflects a wider trend we’re seeing across the entertainment sector – that of providing greater choice to users. In our increasingly on-demand world people are busier than ever, and being able to guarantee a strong opening weekend at the box office is no longer the certainty for a summer blockbuster it once was.

By recognising that demand for media remains high in spite of changing formats, embracing this new reality will put the industry in good stead for the coming of more disruptive tech innovations down the line.

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
Business And Features Writer

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