We live in interesting times, and we also live in a time where entertainment has never been cheaper, as high of quality (if we search it out) as we could ever want, and where there is almost too much variety in platforms and methods of entertainment. We lack for nothing when it comes to our own amusement, and that will force us to make more choices in how we want to spend our time and our money.
Yet at the same time, things are getting easier and more convenient. We’ll get into some of the reasons is the following sections, but we do have more access and mode of entertainment are coming together, effectively creating miniature ecosystems for us to discover the things we like and continuously being connected to them.
All of this means that 2020 will be a year to look at, so let’s consider some of the main things to review:
More Options Than We Can Think of
Take a look around your home for a moment. How many different methods of entertainment do you have available to you, given all the devices you can see (this includes your smartphone and more physical mediums such as books). How many different subscription and streaming services do you have access to?
Even free options you can find online can be things such as professionally recorded performances of operas by world-class companies. Movie theaters provide access to stage shows from across the world, and films shown one screen over will be available to watch on practically any device in just a few months (if not sooner).
It’s clear there’s no end to it, and as technology becomes cheaper for everyone online methods of distribution will become popular. Content producers and distributors will have to keep this in mind and work harder to reach people on multiple platforms or in multiple spheres of influence, while some networks and platform owners will need to start pushing more exclusive content (much like Netflix has) to maintain or gain an edge.
Fighting for Our Attention
And the strangest side effect of having so many options is that even more than before we have control and the viewer or consumer is something that networks, entertainers, and tech companies have to fight for. Marketing for entertainment, whether paid for or using a more grassroots, word of mouth, approach has been completely necessary.
For example, there are more television channels now than there nearly have ever been, and easier access to those channels. Among them alone there would be too much entertainment for one person to consume even if it were to be their full-time job. Now add to this all the podcasts, books, films, YouTube (and other platforms) content, radio, streaming services, and more, and you can see the full scale of the competition.
Therefore, the more that is made available to us via technology, the greater the requirement that technology is used to let us know these things exist. With this in mind, we might expect even larger marketing campaigns or rely on word of mouth even more than we already are (and that’s quite a bit), although as new technologies and marketing techniques emerge, this is liable to change.
Gaming Is Expanding
As one has been able to tell for years now, gaming is expanding its scope to reach out to many potential audiences, and now that we’re in the 2020s its time to start talking completely about their mainstream appeal. Major game releases can make the news much like a major Hollywood film launch. Pokémon Go is taking in billions, leading in the massive mobile gaming industry which to many people (including those who have never touched a game before) has become a part of their everyday life. Gaming itself is larger than any other business in entertainment.
And the lines between modes of entertainment are continuing to blur. Some games have become more like interactive films that have incredibly high production values, professional acting brought home by excellent performance capture technology. VR technology is progressing rapidly, with investments in both platforms and games, and a higher adoption rate by consumers than before. Not only might games use this technology, but eventually film and television industries might try experimental works in the space to a greater degree.
All of this and more shows that we can expect great things from gaming in 2020, especially with new console releases, a great need for this form of entertainment, and proof that the profits are there for the taking.
YouTube videos and live streams of various kinds have, at least for many of younger generations, become the new television and radio, with people having their favorite channels they tune into daily as opposed to (or on top of) traditional television programming. Whether it involves gaming, fashion, celebrity culture, many other hobbies, and passions, or more practical matters, there’s user-generated content for everything, and it’s existence only provides more evidence of a shift in the paradigm of entertainment (if it wasn’t already apparent).
The bars to entry have never been lower to create your own content, meaning millions of videos and other items are being uploaded to the internet every day. Yet conversely, one can and will get easily lost in the swarm. Every other person wants to be big on social media or YouTube, and there simply aren’t enough eyes for all of them. Currently, in 2020 it still seems like it will be a bit of a free-for-all, fostering innovation and emphasizing new trends over many other priorities.
We can get practically whatever entertainment we want whenever we want, and as long as we have a charge on our device of choice, we can have it wherever we want as well. What type of media can’t be accessed via your smartphone, an internet connection, and perhaps a pair of headphones? Where can you not watch your favorite programs if you plan ahead a little?
The same goes for your computer, and with the right equipment, your 4k smart TV can be used for most purposes as well, at least as a screen that can’t be matched. Nearly everything is connected to the internet, and we have refrigerators that can be controlled via a smartphone app. Producers can put entertainment options wherever they would like. Consumers, through their feedback, purchases, and usage, will have to say precisely what they want in the year 2020 and beyond.
Entertainment and diversion are vital given the current state of the world, and we are going to find that we have more than enough and discover new possibilities, either out of necessity or from diving deep into previously unexplored options. We hope that you not only enjoy and take advantage of what’s available but also consider the future and appreciate the innovations that are sure to come in the future.