Expert Analysis

The Show Must Go On(line)!

The pandemic has forced the focus on digital transformation in the industry which is avant-garde in creativity and innovation: Entertainment and Culture.

For many of those in entertainment and culture sector, investments over recent years enabled rapid adaptation while digital laggards have been forced to move in urgency to digital distribution channels, scalable solutions, data-driven operations and preventive actions from cyber threats.

Adapting Digital Distribution Channels

Based on a research, the average time spend on digital media channels grew almost 50% during the pandemic. This enormous change puts a very high stress test for digital service providers for operational excellence. Entertainment and culture sector players who have pioneered in digital channel investments beforehand had the ability to scale sales with digital content delivery methods, while optimizing with analytics solutions and scalable operations provided by tech providers.

Figure-1: Percentage of consumers increasing the time the spend on social media, news sites, streaming services, TV, and games. Source: Global Online Content Consumption Doubled In 2020, Forbes

As for sure, some of players have recently implemented digital channels (i.e.: museums, theatres and printing houses), while COVID-19 enforced strict shutdowns and closures of physical places and restricted supply chain issues.

Some of printing houses turned in to digital-only service providers to sustain and scale end-user outreach. On the other hand, physical spaces started offering augmented visitor experiences to attract interest and sustain business cash flow.

Alliance with existing digital platforms also provided a scale effect for content creators to distribute their product offerings in the market. While some of big entertainment players initiated their own platforms instead. For example, despite of closures of many theme parks across the world, Walt Disney has almost doubled their stock prices comparing to March 2020, thanks to Disney+ digital streaming initiative.

Figure-2: Walt Disney Stock Price History Source: Disney (DIS) Stock Hits Record High After Announcing Huge Slate of TV and Film, Bloomberg

Shoot At Home

During pandemics not only distribution, but also content creation and backstage also has been forced for change. During curfews and lockdowns, many of content have been developed at homes.

As an example, from Discovery Channel, shooting remote episodes of The Pioneer Woman created %10 to %20 efficiency in their cost base. Many VFX designers have used cloud based platforms to increase their computing power at their home to produce many science fiction movies. These examples stimulate a question in minds: “Why we are dragging everybody to studio?”

Data-Driven Strategy

As many of distribution migrated to digital channels, it comes to easy to capture many data to cultivate insights for better customer value, efficiency and product offering innovation.

Many of those, who adapted a solid baseline for permissible customer data collection drove analytical insights based on changing customer behaviors during pandemic. These efforts multiplied sales with new customers and provide deepening with existing ones with effective next-best action models.

Protecting Digital Assets: Cybersecurity

Migration to digital opened new backdoors for the cyber criminals as playground. Based on a research, Ddos attacks jumped 217% year on year during the second quarter of 2020. Experts believe that, behind the accelerated malicious incidents is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as many of us opted to work, consume remotely by utilizing digital assets such as computers, mobile devices.

As content and customer data is the crown jewel of the sector, now it is an emerging challenge for players to deploy gate-keepers for their digital territory and all assets settled upon.

As coming to the next steps…

The pandemic effected many industries drastically. A great recover for entertainment and culture industry will require many stakeholders to take action as society or as individuals. Sector leaders must get ready for developing new guiding principles, business models for their own organization. There are some suggestions for entertainment and culture sector players based on lessons learnt we have researched, experienced so far:

  • Future comes very soon – Act as first mover to take competitive advantage
  • Multidisciplinary takes all – Take broader vision and move from industry focus to vertical focus.
  • Disrupt the paradigm – Build your own future based on your vision. Even this disrupt yourself and shoot your core business models.
  • Experience is changing – Consumer behaviors will not be the same again. Monitor it and embrace this change as a continuous effort.
  • Don’t forget the dark side – Cyber threats, change resistance will be key forces to tackle with. Always have contingency plan and build a solid foundation for all.

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