Media and entertainment business set to change in the post-pandemic world

ST Staff
Thursday, 21 May 2020

With the big screens shutting, production has come to a halt, advertisement has been disrupted; e-commerce is on the rise, financial and accounting activities have been tremendously affected and finally what was the most important shift, entertainment consumption is on the rise at home

A new tech Mahindra report on COVID-19’s impact on the Media and Entertainment Industry talks about how this sector will carry on with business in the post-pandemic world. This change is set to occur faster than you can imagine, the study also talks about those in technology and other businesses who manage to adapt to the new, disruptor models will survive and thrive in future.

In the media and entertainment industry, as in any other sector, the impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented, with many services offered by this industry having drastically diminished or even completely halted. Every aspect of the industry was in some way affected.

Generally speaking, the impact was felt in six areas. With the big screens shutting, production has come to a halt, advertisement has been disrupted; e-commerce is on the rise, financial and accounting activities have been tremendously affected and finally what was the most important shift, entertainment consumption is on the rise at home. The OTT players are booming, and we all can feel the shift in our content consumption habits.

Also Read: Cornonavirus delivers a crippling blow to the entertainment industry, but what is next?

The report assumes that Digital Transformation once considered a secondary strategic business objective, has suddenly become important. It is obvious that, in the post-COVID-19 scenario, companies that take advantage of the emergence of digital capabilities already developed will be able to emerge as leaders. Business models who spend ad money will now focus on OTT and digital platforms to invent advertisement money.

The report finds that consumer demands and market conditions in the media and entertainment industry sector will lead to unexpected innovation. Disruptors will define the new business models, including emerging technologies like AR/VR, advanced home entertainment technologies, new instream modes, and interactive advertisement. Critical enablers for this wave of innovation will be new content creators and management platforms.

According to the report, the media and entertainment industry must plan strategic changes immediately and secure itself financially so to ensure long-term business survival. Consolidation of cloud migration, process automation, and data processing will be the latest buzzwords. At the same time, cost-effective and competent labour partners will be a requirement.

Importantly, within one or two quarters, strategic plans that could previously have been expected to run for 12 to 18 months will now have to be fulfilled immediately. Fast changes for long term survival needs to be in place.

Bigger changes in the Film Business

With the big screens shutting down the film business is completely halted. Closures have had a drastic effect on the box office’s financial wellbeing, and government help will depend on the theatres’ viability after COVID-19.

The audience’s willingness to return to the theatres is now unknown. While major film studios are opening, NATO is asking filmmakers to delay film launches until the theatres are opened.

Most notably, the release now being pushed would create a shortage and oversupply at the end of the year, followed by a low supply span in 2021/2022, due to a lack of current production operation.

Even when theatres reopen, the recurring question will be: will streaming movies be the new normal the same day they are releasing in theatres? To stand out, theatres will need to cater for a differently positive experience that streaming cannot. The big players who plan changes fast and make use of opportunities will be able to survive in the long run.

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