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Covid-19 induced quarantines led to massive challenges in how sector's perform and continue to operate. For the entertainment industry hard lockdown was almost, and in some cases was, ruinous for those dependent on the physical interactions and resulting ticket sales earned from live audience attendance. Contrary to this was the experience of broadcast and online media, which experienced a massive increase in consumption.
These and other challenges were examined by Broll Property Intel, the research division of Broll Property Group, whose findings have been presented in the report, Navigating the New Normal: The Entertainment and Media Industry.
With the prolific rate that Covid-19 has spread, and across borders, governments had no choice but to enforce social gathering restrictions and travel bans. This required event industry players to rethink their future, and how they deliver and cater to the entertainment expectations of consumers.
With the closure of these entertainment venues, blockbuster films were prevented from being released, instead directed to digital platforms. However, it must be noted that prior to the global reaction to Covid-19, a loss in revenue by major cinema chains was already in play. The Report reveals that movie attendance had declined by 12% in 2019, so the additional decline of 48% in 2020 was a double-edged sword forcing theatre closures or limited operating hours.
This in turn gave rise to a massive increase in online streaming of broadcasts. Disney+ for example, is shown in the Report to have increased its subscription base from 73.7-million when it launched in November 2019, to over 50-million subscribers just a month after the World Health Organisation announced the pandemic in March last year. Similar growth was experienced by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and Showmax.
One of the solutions for those that miss the traditional
One of the solutions for those that miss the traditional visit to a cinema is giving rise to the resurrection of 'old-school' drive-ins, where social distancing compliance is almost guaranteed. This will satisfy those in the film industry who would like to debut their blockbusters prior to launching online.
The Report exposes that the culmination of event cancellations due to the travel and tourism bans, attendance restrictions, and the inability for athletes to train together had a knock-on effect across an entire value chain of sports and sporting events. The loss is expected to be a staggering US$61.6 billion.
Among the televised events that were cancelled, were the English Premier Football League, the Tour de France cycle race, and Formula One. One of the most devastating impacts has been to the Japanese government, who have said to have lost close to US$2.8-billion over and above the billions it had already spent on 2020 Summer Olympic Games, and this despite its postponement to July this year.
With the return to some normality, sporting hosts are allowing controlled numbers of spectators. Not so New Zealand, which hosted in June 2020, 20,000 rugby fans at its Forsyth Barr Stadium; no masks or social distancing regulations required or applied. This sector is still in some flux, and only time will tell, says the Report, when stadiums will, if ever, return to full capacity.
The music industry has historically been supported by an estimated US$50-billion revenue from live performances and ticket sales. With the pandemic, this sector has had to find alternative ways to keep this income stream alive. One solution is advancing live music streaming, something that up to last year comprised 47% of the music industry's total revenue.
YouTube, Instagram and Twitch -type platforms have thus become the backbone to ensuring artists and their music still receive acclaim and maintain a fan base. However live streaming and online downloads has had a negative effect on music and gaming stores, with a decrease of 17% last year, over the decrease of 7% of 2019.
Also negatively hit, the data revealed by the Broll Property Report shows that physical gambling establishments were either shut down or realised a serious diminished income. Conversely, online gambling recorded an increase in revenue, and which is expected to grow at a rate of 12% annually between 2019 and 2023, increasing its worth to US$92.86-billion.
As the world faces the very real potential of more waves of Covid-19 infections and variants, the hope remains high that the global roll-out of the vaccine will manifest in some recovery for the entertainment and media industry. The 'show must go on' says the Report, albeit with innovations and adaptations.