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Top Media & Entertainment Trends to Watch Out for in 2022

Media & Entertainment trends 2022
Published on Apr 21, 2022

Top Media & Entertainment Trends to Watch Out for in 2022

The pandemic proved to be a golden era for streaming platforms, as people sought stay-at-home entertainment. During the pandemic, while a few entertainment outlets remained analog, others, including music concerts and theatre, moved into the digital domain.  

In 2022, the M&E industry will hopefully witness the viewers returning to the theaters and live events and spending more time out of the house. The media and entertainment sectors are forecasted to experience a familiar landscape influenced by dynamic consumer behavior, technological innovation, and industry reshaping. To maintain the increased reach, creators and producers will continue to drive innovation in this field. 

Given the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and the workforce and the inflationary economy, M&E industry leaders are steering through unpredictable terrain. With many viewers now ready to venture beyond their couch and living rooms, how will the media and entertainment sectors capitalize on the shift? 

new entertainment options

Which players in the entertainment economy will stand to benefit from the changing environment? 

Here are the top attention-grabbing trends that will have the broadest impact on the M&E industry and reframe its future. 

Read more: The Science of Music: How Big Data Is Transforming the Music Industry? 

Top attention-grabbing M&E Trends in 2022 

  1. Artificial Intelligence will Continue to Transform the M&E Landscape

Just like in 2020 & 2021, artificial intelligence (AI) will continue its journey of transforming the media industry. Within this industry, AI will likely perform the three crucial functions that will involve recommendation, voice recognition, and media automation.  

With the arrival of Netflix and other streaming services, the way users discover and consume entertainment media has transformed drastically. Providers are invested in recommendation technology to surface content more efficiently and accurately. Netflix said that 80% of its content delivery is achieved through recommendations. Following the footsteps, other streaming providers are also embarking on employing AI to compete and improve their entertainment scores throughout 2022. 

  1. The Metaverse moves towards Transforming Reality

Combining platforms, experiences, audiences, and marketplaces, in 2022, metaverse will provide the viewers with a 3D digital place where they can interact through digital representations. The pandemic led to virtual events, performances, and shows, and the audience now has all grown at ease and comfort due to the COVID induced locked down or restricted. 

With metaverse, companies can build an alternative world just like the physical one to undertake entertainment activities, events, and virtual concerts that are compelling enough to gather users. They can also include augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) experiences to operate across physical and digital spaces. 

Trends like virtual meetings, social camera filters, AR for clothing shopping, motion capture, spatial computing, and immersive learning enable brands and enterprises to experiment with AR and VR, thus leading their audience towards a metaverse. However, this requires significant adoption, standardization, and interoperability to establish greater trust and safety. 

Despite multiple challenges, the future of metaverses looks promising. It holds the potential to likely replace the physical spaces, given the evolution of technology. But its full realization and adoption will take many years. In 2022, companies will focus on the building blocks and early metaverses to engage more effectively with their audience and achieve success in the ever-evolving media & entertainment landscape. 

customize viewing experience

  1. Customized viewing experiences will take center stage

In 2022, consumers will continue to seek unique content and viewing experience. With ubiquitous access to entertainment content, the audience preference will likely be at the center stage. Companies will work towards solving the discoverability puzzle and aggregate their content formation in a more intuitive and accessible way. 

Consumers today anticipate effortless interactions throughout the end-to-end viewing journey ranging from sign-up to usage and billing, with more companies jumping on the streaming value chain wagon. Network owners and broadband providers are taking necessary measures to simplify, optimize, and integrate compatibility tools to improve and provide a smooth experience. 

Content discovery is becoming increasingly difficult as consumers bounce between streaming services in search of new series and hits. Tech-savvy companies are harnessing valuable viewership insights to offer the customers the type of content they want to enjoy.  

In 2022, streaming platforms will refine their recommendation engines to understand and demonstrate subscriber preferences and usage history, thus offering a tailored viewing experience. 

Read more: Social Media Trends to Watch Out For in 2022 

  1. NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens) will enter the media discussion. 

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are blockchain-dwelling certificates utilized to record the ownership of digital assets. The media and entertainment landscape is certainly not immune to the transformative impact of the NFTs. With the sale of digital artwork increasing, garnering all the attention, the industry is seeing a surge in its use to sell content. 

NFTs have the potential to influence the way artists and stars build relationships with their audiences. It enables them to release exclusive collections of their artwork that fans interact digitally with. 

In 2022, the media and entertainment landscape will likely experiment with NFT innovation. Today, NFT projects in the M&E space are marketing investments, thus powering engagement and providing direct access to fans. In the future, media companies can also generate royalty income related to the sales of NFTs along with transactions tied to activities in the metaverse. 

Live events and concerts

  1. Revival of Live Entertainment: To Cater to the Pent-Up Demands of the Audience 

While live events, sports, and entertainment experienced a setback in 2020 and 2021, the year 2022 is expected to bring back the trend. 

The M&E sector is expected to generate 6% compound annual growth between the years 2022 to 2030. The year is expected to drive more audiences to the silver screen with the highly anticipated superhero sequels. While pandemic-related production stoppages have delayed many marquee films, the total domestic movie theater attendance is likely to reach just above 80% of pre-pandemic levels. 

The media and entertainment sector will offer a cautionary tale, and the growth of streaming, advertising, and live entertainment will drive strong revenues in 2022. 

  1. M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) to remain a popular item on the M&E menu

Over the course of the pandemic, the media and entertainment industry experienced the biggest players execute a variety of transactions. From landscape-shifting mergers to acquisitions of smaller studios, international markets producing localized content, targeted deals for niches that can be leveraged to create fresh shows, and innovative joint ventures to accelerate global streaming growth, the M& industry saw it all. 

In 2022, the M&A trend is likely to continue. Consolidation of studios and networks will experience a surge as companies are seeking to build content that scales the needed to win the battle against the digital-native behemoths. The industry is looking forward to reaping the benefits of tremendous financial operations. 

But the management teams are likely to face the heavy lift of integration, right-sizing, and realigning their office operations and infrastructure to achieve ambitious goals. Cost savings through integration will support future growth investment and boost the company's profits. As the industry transitions from the high-margin world to streaming ecosystems, enterprises are working to drive less-profitable revenues. 

Read more: Curation, Consolidation, and More Creation: Digital Media and Entertainment Trends for 2022 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Companies are seeking to build the content and capabilities to scale the entertainment battle. 

  • Mergers & acquisitions as a survival strategy will continue to gain popularity and growth. 

  • Content distribution channels will get more complex. 

M&E top trends 2022

To Sum Up  

The media and entertainment sector has always been a whirlwind of strategic activities. Companies are now building, renovating, and tearing down portfolios in response to market developments, and 2022 will be no different.  

As it continues to adapt to the pandemic-led behavioral changes, in 2022, media & entertainment will continue to evolve, reckoning with the ongoing trends and disruptions within the industry. 

In 2022, the traditional, mainstream, mass-market forms of media and entertainment will likely lose ground to the more personalized, niche, and community-driven media. Mainstream media outlets are striving to emulate the practices of platforms like YouTube and TikTok to build more community-generated content. 

Companies are driving innovation to tackle the evolving landscape of the industry and capture the opportunities to position themselves for growth. With audiences growing comfortable with bypassing networks and platforms, the industry is gearing up for new challenges. 

With offices in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.   

A leader in the Media & Entertainment space, SG Analytics helps leverage advanced analytics capabilities to make accurate decisions and accelerate business growth. Contact us today if you are in search of media & entertainment solutions that enable businesses to solve problems by harnessing disruptive data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cutting-edge technologies.