6 Tech Trends that will reshape Media & Entertainment in 2021

Content streaming is at an all-time high amidst the lockdown. By 2024, Over-the-top (OTT) media revenue is predicted to touch $158.84B that’s more than double the $67.8B revenue that was generated in 2018. The number of OTT service users in the United States is expected to reach 198 million by 2021. Netflix, Google LLC, LINE Corporation, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Apple Inc. Kakapo Corp, Hulu, LLC are among the top players.

Let’s take a look at the demand and supply impact given the evolving industry landscape. The demand side takes into account the behavioral patterns of the audience while the supply side adopts tech innovations to differentiate their service and content portfolio

Here’s our take on 6 technology trends that will influence the media and entertainment world this year.

  1. Ad-supported access to standard content portfolio

In a bid to keep subscription fees competitive, platforms and publishers will bring back ad-supported content. Ad-supported models will work well provided platforms collate sufficient data for targeted advertising. M&E companies are now putting in a lot of effort to sieve through every tiny bit of information to keep annoying ads at bay. Going forward, the focus will be more on making an interesting mix of videos, music, games, podcasts, etc. available through subscription and free ad-supported services.

Explains Nick Morley, EMEA Managing Director, IAS, “With major changes to consumer habits last year, viewer patterns have rapidly evolved. The UK Streaming Wars report shows that viewers are now increasingly open to ad-supported video options, so the onus is on the digital advertising industry to help marketers meet consumer needs with an enjoyable experience.” As per the UK Streaming Wars report, over 50% of consumers will watch relevant ads in full while one in five will even search once they see an ad.

  1. eSports broadcasting for interactive experiences

The global eSports market revenue is expected to touch $1.6B in 2023 with eSports being touted as the future of sports. Currently, Asia and North America are the largest eSports markets and with greater adoption of AR/VR, this segment too will see fresh developments. Legalized sports betting will also see a surge with 5G technology, and several sports stadiums and similar arenas in the U.S. already have 5G towers to facilitate legalized betting.

With broadcasters streaming feeds from strategically placed cameras at vantage points, viewers can pick the best views for a more engaging experience. Apart from the best viewing angles, eSports also offers them an opportunity to cheer and interact with their favorite sports persons in real-time, and a platform to discuss strategies and improve the learning curve.

Gaming companies are doing exceedingly well too and Activision Blizzard made a profit of $505M in the first quarter of 2020 with their games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft delivering better than expected results.

  1. Augmented and Virtual Reality will create new avenues

Augmented and Virtual Reality or AR/VR are unlocking new technology avenues for the media and entertainment world. Earlier, they were not leveraged to their full potential despite the hype. Adoption was less and the price of AR/VR devices was pretty high. But things are changing now with greater adoption, pocket-friendly devices, and AR content that’s supported by smartphones.

This presents an opportunity to the media industry that will also leverage it to deliver a quality experience to gamers, make way into cinemas and theaters with immersive content, and create wearables for visits to museums, art galleries, etc.

  1. Artificial Intelligence for enhanced customer engagement

Most viewers, including millennials and Gen-Z, are happy to pay for content that’s tailored to their tastes. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms go a long way in analyzing consumer behavior providing them with just what they want to see. Innovations like eye tracking, emotion detection and engagement analysers provide new sources of continuous feedback.

The power of AI is essential to absorb and process this data in no time to help platforms make highly personalized recommendations. The same principle works for music streaming apps too that know exactly which tracks to pitch so that they make it to your list of favorites. AI can be a boon in the pre and post-production processes too and the absence of human intervention ensures that the cost of content creation is greatly reduced.

  1. Blockchain to protect IP rights while leveraging viral distribution channels

Blockchain will disrupt the way content is created, aggregated, distributed, consumed, and protected. Blockchain-powered micropayments will facilitate pay-per-use consumption targeting consumers who are unwilling to pay for an entire subscription but will pay a smaller fee to binge-watch just a season of a particular show. It allows independent artists to directly distribute their work among consumers via social media channels bypassing middlemen and distribution modes.

Blockchain will ensure proper execution of copyright terms through accurate tracking of a song’s usage and facilitate quicker royalty payments and division of revenue among artists and stakeholders. It will control and monetize file sharing, as every time consumers purchase or subscribe to blockchain-hosted content, content owners will be able to track file sharing and charge a fee for that distribution.Italy’s copyright body SIAE has also developed a copyright management platform using blockchain to provide artists and musicians complete transparency about their works and keep track of the royalties they are entitled for.

  1. Print media will embrace a digital future

COVID is driving the publishing industry to adopt a digital-first or digital-only model. Magazine publishing has suffered and popular magazines such as the Cosmopolitan SA closed their chapters recently. The New Normal also urged others to take a fresh perspective on creativity. Vogue Italia for instance donned a plain white cover sans celebs and models for their April 2020 issue.

There will be a symbiotic integration between print and online with more emphasis on customized content. As Ryan T. Sauers, President, Sauers Consulting explains, “Customers will receive more relevant information, and companies won’t waste money trying to cast larger nets. The traditional, mainstream blast-out-a-million-copies of something—I see that just dying a slow death.”

As per PwC, eBooks will see a greater demand and grow at a CAGR of 11.7% while the physical book publisher’s industry will decline at a CAGR of -2.8%.

Summing up

The New Normal brings along both opportunities and challenges. Due care however must be taken to safeguard the privacy of customers at all times. With rising subscriptions, comes the responsibility of ensuring data privacy too. While 64% of consumers are willing to share personal information and 83% are somewhat comfortable with using or storing biometric data with apps and services, 79% are pretty concerned about their data privacy as per a survey by Entrust.

It is crucial that M&E companies protect their data with strong encryption, high-assurance, and cloud-based authentication while also ensuring that consumers are educated about best practices surrounding data security. Transparent data collection applications and initiatives such as a promise to forget the data once services or subscriptions are discontinued can go a long way in gaining consumer trust.

Tune in with Trigent

The media and entertainment industry is in for some unprecedented changes. We can partner with you on this transformative journey thanks to our long and successful association with the world of M&E. Book a consultation and we will tell you how our technology solutions can serve as the perfect bedrock to help you thrive in 2021 and beyond. Call us today.

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