Reports Media & Marketing

The shift indoors Entertainment audiences’ search for the affordable and the meaningful

Report by Hanna Kahlert
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20,000 foot view:

The        entertainment boom is over; we are now in a highly competitive attention recession characterised largely by the attention inflation driven from accelerating rates of multitasking. This is compounded by serious global events and a cost-of-living crisis which will reduce the money audiences have available to spend on digital entertainment. However, the coming downturn will not be straightforward. Rather, the nuances of behaviours turned habitual over recent years will drive interesting spikes in some entertainment behaviours, while challenging others, all underpinned by shifts in consumption itself. Audiences will become more selective, putting greater value on community, and becoming increasingly creative in how they both consume and access entertainment.

Key insights

  • Consumers will adapt their spending of time, finances, and attention in a combination of ‘do things while we can’ enthusiasm mixed with longer-term pragmatism

  • New behaviours will emerge, such as smaller one-off entertainment spends (e.g., local gig tickets, in-game purchases, and video subscribers switching between services to access new releases)

  • Audience spending decisions will be made both when affordable and often as one-off meaningful exchanges, rather than longer-term commitments.

  • With larger aspirational purchases being increasingly out of reach, digital subscriptions can become affordable luxuries and fill the entertainment gap left by going out less

  • The winners in video will be those that offer both practicality and versatility, with more than just hits and classics, but a whole repertoire that consumers turn to for stress relief, hate watching, meme content etc.

  • Games economics will likely be less impacted by the cost-of-living crisis as engaged gamers tend to be from higher income brackets

  • Audiences are more likely to engage in local events (sports games, music gigs), searching for community and collective relief from difficult times

  •        of consumers said they would cancel a music subscription if forced to reduce spending, but this does not mean they will not stop listening to music, nor even stop streaming

  • Video streaming will be shaped by savvy switching, account sharing, and choosing between practical subscriptions (e.g., Amazon, Apple) and versatile ones (e.g., Disney+, Netflix)

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Discord, Disney+, Google Stadia, Netflix, OnlyFans, Patreon, Reddit, Twitch, Zoom

Methodological note:  This report references primary academic research, with full citations available at the end.

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