Reports Critical Developments

After digital The search for a cheaper cultural moment

Report by Hanna Kahlert
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20,000 foot view:  Audiences are becoming ever-more creative and this proclivity will come into its own over the coming period of economic, social, and political turbulence. To reconnect with each other while conserving their financial resources, these audiences will increasingly employ their digital-savvy pandemic learnings in the way that they consume entertainment itself. 

Key insights 

  • As the cost-of-living crisis becomes more prominent, ‘do it yourself’ inclinations will continue to grow among keen entertainment audiences  
  • In        2022,        of consumers played guitar,        played a non-guitar instrument or sang,        had started learning to play an instrument in the last year, and        wanted to start learning
  • A recession is likely to see the emergence of new, localised underground scenes, borne of economic necessity and catalysing creativity as a response to financial constraints
  • With the price and number of subscriptions required for access rising, as well as increasingly being complicated by rights battles, piracy is on the rise in both music and video (in        2022,        and        of consumers respectively download for free from file-sharing networks)
  • Streaming services must either try to force the hands of their audiences by doing things like locking account sharing and cracking down on family plan definitions, or embrace these creative consumption behaviours with the benefit of longer-term cultural relevance
  • Digital entertainment will face the double-pincer threat of not only losing revenues as consumers choose to engage with entertainment in more cost-efficient manners, but also as they choose to engage more ‘in real life’ activities instead
  • Local gigs        of US consumers went in the last month) and cinema tickets        can act as small luxuries which fit the need for real-life experiences, social interaction and community, affordability, and entertainment to distract from recessionary concerns
  • Other DIY entertainment-related activities will rise from the potential generated by the creator economy, and all the freely available tools and technologies which come with it 
  • DIY entertainment behaviours will not replace entertainment consumption, but will bring experiential scarcity, and thus cultural value, into a market currently dominated by plenty. While revenues may not spike, cultural value will

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Barlow and Bear, Disney+, GarageBand, Gentleminions, Netflix, Pandora, PirateBay, Pluto TV, Shazam, SoundCloud, Spotify, TikTok, Tubi TV, and uTorrent

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