The Future of the Entertainment Industry Beyond 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the whole world and affected, among other things, the entertainment business and the media. Against the backdrop of the global recession in 2020, the world’s entertainment and media business experienced the most visible drop in income for the first time in the 21 years that we conduct our survey – by 5.6% compared to 2019, or more than $ 120 billion in absolute expression.

Nevertheless, during the extended period of time, the industry continues to be capable of development and helps to advance the entertainment segment. In recent years, as the value of media activity has increased in our lives, global increase in the entertainment and media segment has generally exceeded GDP growth. We expect the industry to pick up a faster pace of development after a challenging 2020.

Industry Change is Accelerating

As in the entire economy as a whole, the centres of crisis in the entertainment segment and the media are unevenly distributed. The most severe damage was suffered by companies forced to completely cease their activities due to the coronavirus. First of all, those who organize events: live concerts, film screenings, industry exhibitions. Advertising spending will also decline by 13.4%. In addition, we saw how the long shift from reproduction to digital was stimulated by several years, resulting in a drop in incomes from paper publications.

So how has accelerated change impacted different segments of the industry? 

  • OTT video content providers globally grew by 26% in 2020, thanks to global self-isolation. 
  • In the following years, it will proceed to grow strongly and will almost double – from $ 46.4 billion in 2019 to $ 86.8 billion in 2024. 
  • With streaming services booming, digitalization stimulated by the current pandemic is not surprisingly driving global data consumption to rise. 
  • 2020, we use 33.8% more data than a year earlier.

On the other side of the range are the sections with the heaviest losses. Many cinemas have been closed and movie premieres have been postponed, and we project a nearly 66% decline in income for the film industry this year. It is also unlikely that the lost heights will be recaptured: according to our forecast, cinema incomes in 2024 will be below the level of 2019. 

Another consequence of the pandemic is a sharp increase in the downward trend in the volume of sold circulation of publications in 2020. Total incomes sank 14%, with magazines hitting the hardest. Digital solutions have sweetened the bitter pill: in 2023, consumer magazine digital ad incomes will exceed print ad incomes. Companies in other sectors will also make incredible efforts in the hope of recovering from growth that had been disrupted in 2019.

The Industry Is Entering an Era of Reinstallment

Nevertheless, and, possibly, contrary to seemingly obvious trends, a number of “traditional” media did not give up their positions despite the consequences of the pandemic and the dispatch of digitalization. Is there a place for entertainment centres in the new world? A year or two will pass, and people will return to their usual rhythm. The entertainment segment will face sharp changes, but it will not lose its previous influence on people.

Outdoor amusement parks are a prime example. They demonstrated a V-shaped rebound: everything was closed, but when they were allowed to open the sites, many people immediately came. Even with limited attendance, the parks were fully loaded. Ticket sales at Disneyland are also indicative. A few days before the opening, tickets for the next two weeks were sold on the site. The restriction on the number of people to enter has provoked increased demand.