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The entertainment industry is one of the oldest in the world, and encompasses everything from gaming to live music, stage shows, clubs and entertainment bars, movies and television shows, and online entertainment streaming sites like Youtube, Netflix and more. And while as an industry the entertainment world is one which relies on talent and individual entertainer ideas and concepts, so much of what we consider to be entertaining in today’s world is enhanced and delivered through technology.
The fact is that prior to the rise in technology and global communication electronics, entertainment was a very community-led thing. Modern innovation means that those who class themselves as part of the entertainment industry can now enjoy a global platform, joining the likes of technology-led entertainment concepts like gaming and internet surfing.
When we break the entertainment industry down into its various sectors, and start to determine how vouchers and deals apply to different industry areas, it becomes clear that these different trades operate as part of their own sector with very little crossover: a concept which becomes clearer when you look at live entertainment and internet gaming as two very different parts of one large industry. What this means for the entertainment industry as a whole is that, no matter how independent and fragmented its inner sectors area, the overall reach of the industry is huge and the opportunity for consumer interaction is vast.
Different areas of the entertainment industry
When you look at and break the entertainment industry down into its main components, there are four key sectors which operate within the umbrella industry. Not only do these four sectors have their own target audiences and their own main areas of work, but they also have their own histories, their own cultural references and prominent features, and their own methods of marketing.
These four areas area:
- Electronic entertainment
- Live entertainment
- Exhibition entertainment
- Mass media entertainment
For the most part, it is electronic entertainment which has been developed since the rise in technology, however all four sectors have been enhanced and improved through the provision of electronics and technology; not just in widening their marketing reach, but also in creating more of a standout showcase performance as well.
Let’s look at the exhibition entertainment sector as an example. Exhibition entertainment refers to the fairs, amusement parks, festivals and fireworks displays which attract vast number of visitors and which tend to rely on live and very immersive activities and happenings in order to attract and entice a captive audience. While many of these activities and performances are possible without technology, for example live performances, fireworks and mechanical rides, it is the provision of technology and AV systems which elevates the user experience and which makes the entertainment relevant in a modern market. Thus, one of the most prominent things to note about the entertainment industry is the way that all the different parts and sectors within the industry are adapting in line with consumer demands and tastes; incorporating technology and electronics into the performances in order to enhance their immersive nature and to widen the reach of each performance through streaming and marketing.
The electronic entertainment sector meanwhile is one which has been developed in line with the establishment and development of different technologies, with the earliest examples of gaming boasting wildly different and much less polished effects to those we associate with the modern styles of gaming – which today include wireless headsets and handsets. The electronic entertainment industry is one which also benefits from the creation and provision of various accessories designed to enhance the experience: including headphones, gaming chairs, and even the establishment of VR headsets and goggles. Today, gaming forms a major part of the entertainment industry, not just operating within the independent entertainment sector but also resulting in the rise of sector-specific live entertainments such as gaming conferences and product launches.
Top retailers in the entertainment industry
With entertainment spanning everything from the latest video game to our favourite television show, establishing who the top retailers in the sector are is nigh-on impossible.
In short, when you break the industry down into its various sectors, you inevitably find yourself drowning in names and brands of niche sector leaders who dominate the live dance arena, the musical performance arena, the gaming arena, and plenty more. However, on a broader scale, the entertainment industry is in fact operated and managed by a series of large media companies which own and manage the operations of many of these much smaller players. These include:
- Comcast Corp (owning NBC Universal and DreamWorks Animation, providing streaming services, and producing entertainment for both TV and film)
- The Walt Disney Company (a hugely diverse entertainment giant which operates theme parks and cruise ships as well as its own streaming service, creates movies and television programmes, has a big part to play in the retail industry, and is generally regarded as one of the leading entertainment companies in the world)
- Charter Communications
- Netflix Incorporated
- Nintendo Company Ltd
- Fox Corporation
Trends in the entertainment industry
One of the leading trends across a variety of different industries, but one which particularly effects the entertainment industry, is the shift in the way that consumers are using and enjoying different entertainment provisions. A good way of looking at this is the development of on demand and streaming services, which essentially give the consumer the choice of when they would like to watch a television show – rather then forcing them to watch it live with the rest of the nation when it airs. In essence, this means that instead of watching a seasonal finale when it airs, consumers now have the option to pause the TV and watch it on a lag, they can record it and watch it at a later date, or they can stream is through an on demand service at a time of their choosing. This has only become a prominent factor in the last few years, however it has created huge waves in the way that it impacts show ratings and industry successes, as it means that analysts must cover a wider sector of streaming services across a larger time span in order to get a true measure of viewing figures.
And it’s not just viewing figures that have been impacted by the rise in streaming and on demand televisual services. The success of industry leaders like Netflix and Sky Go has meant that other areas of the entertainment industry are facing challenges to keep up – with cinemas and live shows now facing the loss of viewers as they choose the convenience of streaming a film or a show at home rather than catching it live or paying to watch it on release at a cinema or movie theatre. One of the ways that streaming services are competing with each other is in the way that they are now creating and releasing their own programmes and entertainment concepts: from game shows to drama series and their own movies. This in turn creates opportunities for each to expand their own offering and appeal to new target audiences.
Another huge trend which is taking over the entertainment industry as a whole is the rise in consumer interest around real life stories, documentaries and the exploration of specific individuals and ideologies which differ from the norm. Not only has this expanded across the television and streaming services networks, but it has also created demand for live events and conferences concerning documentary style learning, has widened the reach of festivals which concern themselves with various sectors and causes, and has created entirely new concepts for the industry: such as exhibitions and tours. Some examples of this trend in action include:
- Tours of historical buildings and areas, such as the nuclear ground of Chernobyl
- Documentary programmes exploring the life of notorious serial killers
- Explorative programmes into the heart of climates we do not understand, particularly identifying species and areas at risk of becoming endangered
- Programmes which document lifestyles which the majority of consumers do not understand
Much of this trend is driven by the fact that modern entertainment allows us to gain an insight into places and lifestyles we have no experience of, with technology and electronics allowing for that global experience which is otherwise alien.
Another way that technology has created a global demand for different areas of the entertainment industry is in the way that technology gives different sectors within the industry a global launch platform – creating a buzz around the launch of a new gaming add-on or accessory, giving live entertainers a large platforms to advertise their event offerings, and allowing audiences around the world to tune in to streamed performances.
Of course, for the lucky few who are in the vicinity and able to catch a live performance in person, we have the live events section of the entertainment industry, and the way that this continues to drive interaction and engagement through its various touch points: attracting and enticing a huge cross section of consumers and target audiences dependent on the style of entertainment and the kind of demographic it is being created for. Live entertainment can refer to everything from the pianist on an over-50’s cruise, to a rock concert performer playing at a large festival, to a west end musical in the heart of London, to a singer at a local wedding. One of the leading trends in the live entertainment sector is the focus on quality and the fact that different audiences look for and priorities different areas of a performance. Some examples of key areas of focus for the consumer include:
- Customer service
- Quality and stand out features of a performance
It is up to the entertainer to meet those demands and find ways of ticking as many boxes as they can – else they will find they lose the business to another supplier who is able to deliver more.
This is where deals and discounts come in very useful, with one overriding factor defining live entertainment costs being the season in which the performance is due to take place. Christmas, for example, is a particularly busy period for live entertainers and thus as a consumer you would expect to pay more at Christmas for a performance. However, you may find that an entertainer is willing to offer a discount for a performance booked for the middle of the day – with many heightening their costs for evening performances.
Gift cards in the entertainment industry
The likelihood is that if you receive a gift card, it will be applicable for a select area of the entertainment industry, rather than the industry as a whole. This could be a live show or a musical performance, or it could be redeemable against an electronic game or accessory – with the latter providing crossover into the retail industry where you are most likely to find games and gaming accessories.
This is mainly because the industry sits under one umbrella heading, however the way in which it is presented to consumers is actually very fragmented and thus relies on a range of different touch points and areas of focus: from ticket booking sites, to social media platforms, through to ecommerce and high street retailers.
The future of the entertainment industry
With a deeper understanding of exactly what is included within the entertainment industry, it is not difficult to see how influential the industry really is on our daily lives. So much of what we do is in some way linked with the entertainment industry, from reading a book to listening to music to relaxing with a film at the end of the day. One of the ways through which the industry is future-proofing itself is in the consistent development of streaming and on demand services, allowing consumers to experience and use the industry as they want to – when they want to – no matter where in the world they are. Another method of development lies in the way that entertainment experiences are enhanced and supported by computer technologies, with AI and VR likely to continue development to make experiences even more immersive and impressive.