FACE-TO-FACE IS SO 2020...
IS THE FUTURE OF MEDIA CONSUMPTION DIGITAL, OR IS IT PASSING TREND?
Our world is rapidly becoming more and more digital, and less interactions are being done face-to-face every day. Industries are having to adapt to the fast-changing environment, or become forgotten amongst the innovation. The entertainment industry is one that’s seen a massive shift in consumer behaviour, and the question must now be asked – is the future of media consumption digital?
The technological advances that have been made in recent years are astounding, and the possibilities for what can be done from the palm of our hands have skyrocketed. Smartphones, smart watches, tablets, laptops, and more have drastically changed the landscape of media consumption.
Consumers have grown used to the immediacy that comes with the on-the-go media consumption that is possible via these products, and in a world of constant innovation it’s hard to imagine going back to a slower, more analogue way of consuming modern media.
THE RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
In tandem with technological advances, huge changes have occurred in how we use and consume social media. The platforms are no longer spaces solely dedicated to sharing personal photos and updates, but are instead potentially lucrative platforms for content creators to share their work.
Users can access endless streams of free content covering every topic under the sun, with zero wait time and zero fees. Users also have total control over which accounts and creators they follow or subscribe to, allowing them to tailor the content that appears on their feeds to their personal preferences.
We see adverts just like when we watch television, but this time they’re on our social media feeds instead, and are tailored to suit a given account’s specific audience. This shift in advertising norms is indicative of a drastic rise in content consumption via social media platforms, and suggests that this digital method of media consumption is here to stay.
STREAMING VS TERRESTRIAL
The way we watch television has also changed. Thanks to the increase in streaming services available – Prime, Netflix, Disney +, and NOW TV to name a few – terrestrial television is becoming less and less popular. With such a wide range of classic and original content readily available with your subscription, streaming services are quickly growing to challenge terrestrial TV’s viewership.
The same is true of reading. Nowadays it’s common practice for publishers to produce an audiobook version of a new print publication, and these are being consumed at a rapid pace. Not only are audiobooks better for on-the-go consumption, but they’re often cheaper and more environmentally friendly than their paper counterparts.
In the last 18 months or so, countless blockbuster movies have been delayed from public release, TV series production sets have been shut down, and live tapings have had empty audiences thanks to the pandemic. While the emergence of a virus like Covid-19 is a relatively rare occurrence, its impact has highlighted the effects that such societal obstacles can have on the entertainment industry.
Production companies and creators have all had to pivot their strategies and adapt to the circumstances before them in order to continue to put out media content. A big part of this industry-wide pivot has been a move from showcasing work via traditional outlets – for example cinemas – to solely digital outlets. Numerous movies and TV series were released exclusively via streaming platforms, allowing consumers all around the world to access the content from the safety and comfort of their homes.
We believe that the shift to a digital framework that was made during the pandemic is here to stay. It’s a more inclusive way of releasing and consuming media, and it ensures that should there be any further societal obstacles that emerge in future years, the entertainment industry will be able to carry on, business as normal.
The digital media space is still evolving, but we really believe it’s the future of the industry. With so many benefits to it – including inclusivity, breadth of content available, and convenience to name a few – it’s easy to understand why digital is winning out over more traditional forms of consumption. In a time of so much technological innovation, it’s exciting to think about what the future of media consumption will look like.