The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we consume media and entertainment (M&E). With people confined to their homes, our social lives have moved online and entertainment consumption has risen notably within the at-home segments of television, online gaming, and over-the-top (OTT).
On the other hand, movie theatres, theme parks, museums, and other external consumption models are suffering, as physical distancing norms and lockdowns are enforced as per a KPMG report
The pandemic has triggered layoffs in certain M&E segments such as print and television media as advertisers scale back spending. As for monetization, particularly ad-spend comes under pressure, cash management, and profit protection with greater technology integration are likely to gain strategic significance for M&E companies.
While the long-term implications are yet to emerge, the following M&E themes will likely come into focus as the post-coronavirus reality becomes clearer:
Behavioral changes and habit formation post COVID-19: Consumer behavior is rapidly evolving as the world adjusts to a new normal, where social distancing, work from home, and virtual meetings are the norms.
Demand for at-home digital media is expected to grow significantly, as habit-formation and ease of access emerge as drivers. OTT platforms and digital media have already been attracting
new consumers and expanding to new locations and demographics. The virus outbreak will magnify the already apparent shift from laptop/digital devices viewing to large screen TVs—providing a significant fillip to broadband internet/ fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) companies.
Even once the crisis passes, the psychological overhang from the virus might mean it would take some time for consumers to embrace external consumptions models again, especially in areas that have been the worst affected by this crisis.
Here, the recovery in consumption of outdoor M&E could lag other areas of India that could have been relatively less impacted. This could pave the way for innovation and outreach solutions wherein consumers turn to virtual live events and new delivery models to connect. Technological advancements could play a pivotal role in bringing outdoor entertainment and outreach directly to the consumer in such erstwhile virus hotspots.