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How is the pandemic transforming the entertainment industry?

How is the pandemic transforming the entertainment industry?

The Innovation team at Instinctif harness the best of the future to deliver market-leading ideas in the present. The team’s specialism spans digital strategy and marketing, data & analytics, and strategic brand. This fortnightly update shares top tips to help you foster creative and challenge the status quo and summarises the news that matters.

Entertainment in the time of corona

Away from the impact on how we work, the current pandemic has transformed how we spend our free time. Of which, for many of us, there’s now surplus, with precisely zero hours now frittered away on buses, ferrying children to school, or negotiating our way through the ever-reliable rush-hour traffic.

With recent research from GlobalWebIndex finding that over 80% of consumers in the US and UK say they consume more content since lockdown began, a space has opened up in the lives of lots of us to be filled with ‘media’ – from the traditional TV shows to Instagram Lives.

Here in the Innovation team we work closely with a network of partners to provide the latest industry and consumer insights. They offer us a first-look at trends and behaviours, allowing us to give the most valuable and timely counsel to our clients. One of these partners, social listening platform Talkwalker releases a daily COVID-19 report to help make sense of the current climate. A recent report from the brand turns its ear to the conversation around what the outbreak means for the entertainment we choose while we’re sitting it out.

Trending content

Have you watched Tiger King? If yes, well, the chances are so has everyone else you know (we’re predicting Joe Exotic as Halloween 2020 costume of choice). Talkwalker says: “By analysing the Conversation Clusters linked to the entertainment industry and COVID-19, we can see that there has been an emergence of different fads that have been large drivers of conversation, such as Netflix’s Tiger King and ESPN’s Last Dance.”

In the wider context, it follows that we’re now more likely to eschew the news in favour of some light relief; a separate report from GlobalWebIndex in April found that a third of Brits seek non-Coronavirus-related topics to watch, instead seeking escapism.

Where watching a programme was previously a pleasant addition to our day, a sprinkling of seasoning on an already tasty dish, it’s now the whole meal. It’s what we talk about when we speak to our friends. It’s the memes we post on social media. In the absence of an outside life, it’s our shared cultural touchpoint.

The strength of these conversation clusters points to less diversity in what we’re reading and watching. That means that, with little else on the menu, content’s ability to go viral in a big way is increasing.

Fusing fun + fundraising

Think shows and music are purely for pleasure? Think again.

Entertainment in lockdown has taken on a new significance as a tool for philanthropy. Talkwalker’s research found it to be “…a platform for donations and raising money for less fortunate individuals.”

We’ve seen events like the One World: Together At Home concert, which featured performances from everyone from the Rolling Stones to Lizzo raising money for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response fund through digital livestreams. Technology has enabled viewers to donate money, while also getting a front-row look at the featured celebrities’ home interiors. Win-win.

New material? Pending

There’s an increased appetite for entertainment – but (to milk the food metaphor dry), where our next meal is coming from remains unseen.

With restrictions on large gatherings, filming new, large-scale shows, or hosting IRL concerts or festivals is currently off the table. As Talkwalker puts it: “While people are consuming more entertainment than ever, there have been obstacles in producing new entertainment given the limitations in physical distance. We have seen record ratings for reality television shows, documentaries and streaming platforms, while also having to shut down sets on Broadway and delaying production of different movies and television shows.”

And it’s driving uncertainty around the future of the sector, with Talkwalker noting a negative sentiment in industry conversations, from cancellations of events to unemployment across entertainment workers.

What the future holds for the entertainment industry remains to be seen, but we’re sure to see an injection of inventiveness in how it operates. Remote filming? Stripped back crews? Performers in glass cages? We’ll be watching eagerly to find out.

Get the full insight by taking a look at the Talkwalker report here.

Tool of the week

A lot of us are having strange dreams during these uncertain times. If you’re experiencing this iso-side effect, console yourself by sampling some of the strangest from across the globe.

‘I Dream of COVID’ is a collection of dreams submitted by readers in the midst of Coronavirus. You can browse everyone’s dreams here or scroll the feed on Instagram.

Are you brave enough to submit your own dream? Do it here.

Top Tip

This week’s tip comes from Account Director Ellie Day.

‘National treasure’ is an overused term. But for a select few individuals it feels earned. Justifiable. Correct. Louis Theroux is one of those people.

Lucky for us, then, that he’s using his lockdown downtime to bolster the national spirit, with a new BBC podcast series, Grounded. In the first episode he interviews his “professional doppelgänger…or, rival,” Jon Ronson.

They cover an unlikely range of topics – everything from the experience of procuring ghosts for Robbie Williams to the cardinal sin of eating the last avocado.

It’s an insight into the lives of the two documentary-makers; a comforting call-back to the days of Louis’ Weird Weekends; and a reminder that yes, together, we are going to get Theroux this.

Fill your ears with the sound of the podcast here.

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