As the world recovers from the massive post-pandemic aftermath, entertainment trends 2022 are in the spotlight. Currently, people are eager to restore mental balance and seek new ways to enjoy their lives. But while media and entertainment were one of the first industries to embrace digital innovations, their transformation is far from over. Moreover, experts project developing entertainment industry trends to boost the market value to $2.93 trillion by 2026. 

That’s because our social lives have moved online, and the sector witnessed an explosion in digital media consumption due to the COVID-19 global crisis. This has led to profound shifts and the emergence of new entertainment trends. So, it is no surprise that companies turned to technology and innovation to improve content delivery and remain competitive in the ever-evolving market.

In a world where media is already at our fingertips—what is next? Let’s review the top entertainment industry trends 2022 driving digital innovation in this thrilling sector. 

Digital transformation in media and entertainment industry: time to think ahead 

For instance, newspapers, media outlets, TV, and radio seized online long ago. Music and books have their own successful digital niche. The filmmaking and sports industries are catching up, but still rely on more traditional business methods. With that said, how can you benefit from the upcoming trends in the entertainment industry? 

What people expect from the multimedia and entertainment industry today is radically different from what it was just a few years ago. It’s crucial to stay on track with media and entertainment industry trends 2022, as this year will most likely define the entire future landscape of how consumers will interact with E&M brands. So, companies should accelerate their innovation plans and adapt quickly if they want to survive and compete successfully. 

Entertainment industry trends

How can you capitalize on digital entertainment industry trends? 

On the one hand, digitalization and intelligent automation are changing the media in all its forms. Consequently, people now consume more digital content than before the pandemic—84 percent of respondents admit they spend more time enjoying online sources. So, current entertainment trends drive revenue by giving providers powerful tools to create, communicate, and enhance their brand image. On the other hand, they present new growth opportunities and greater resilience for businesses. So, what potential benefits can transformation bring? 

You can leverage entertainment industry trends 2022 to: 

  1. Engage with consumers more effectively 
  2. Unlock new revenue streams and boost sales 
  3. Target the right audience and increase customer loyalty 
  4. Gamify your business to attract younger generations 
  5. Use real-time omnichannel data and analytics to deliver better content 
  6. Anticipate user problems and improve turnaround times 
  7. Analyze and reduce your customer churn rate  
  8. Re-align your business value proposition with the market demand 
  9. Optimize cross-channel advertising and SMM strategies 
  10. Build hybrid ecosystem partnerships through M&A deals 

Top 5 entertainment industry trends to watch in 2022  

Currently, it is crucial for businesses to take customer experience personalization to the next level, if they want to differentiate themselves from the competition. Can entertainment trends boost your ability to innovate faster? Absolutely. Below we share a list of the top 5 entertainment industry trends 2022 that will drive digital disruption. Let’s explore them together. 

1. Metaverse or more immersive internet 

Most big tech players plan to focus on metaverse and creation of virtual environments in 2022. So, you can expect this trend to dominate this year and beyond. 

A metaverse can be described as a digital reality where people can work, play games together, network, and enjoy virtual concerts. It doesn’t refer to any specific technology but may include AR, AI, VR, blockchain, IoT devices, and cryptocurrencies to help users interact with digital entities as if they were real. Meanwhile, Bloomberg predicts that the metaverse market may hit $800 billion by 2024

Companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Roblox, and Nvidia have a stake in the metaverse today. However, we should admit the Epic Games company has nailed it and demonstrated the real value of these entertainment trends. Its Fortnite game attracted over 15 million concurrent players and an additional 3.4 million viewers on Twitch and YouTube. This game developer unites people globally to experience events, live concerts, shows, and exhibits. 

So, what can virtual spaces mean for you? Well, they allow any company to create a meta world of their own, attract diverse audiences, and engage them under the pretext of events and games. If you get in early, you can build a virtual fan base to vouch for your products over competitors entering the virtual world afterward. 

We should accept the fact that the metaverse is one of the most dynamic entertainment trends in 2022. But most importantly, it comes with multiple opportunities for customer engagement, brand promotion, content creation, management, and distribution. 

2. NFT phenomenon is taking off 

This trend grabbed worldwide attention after Beeple—an American artist whose real name is Mike Winkelmann—sold his artwork for over $69 million. The payoff was huge for many musicians, artists, influencers, with investors spending thousands and millions of dollars to own digital art. For instance, the founder of Twitter got over $2.9 million for his first tweet. Meanwhile, a video by Grimes was sold for almost $390,000

So, what is NFT? Simply put, NFT or non-fungible token converts digital or real objects into one-of-a-kind assets that serve as a certificate of its ownership. 

And why is this so important? Putting aside the buzz, these tokens represent a groundbreaking method for game developers, sports leagues, and media businesses to monetize their content. NFT platforms can take center stage among the entertainment industry trends 2022, especially as we are exploring the realms of the metaverse and Web 3.0. 

Today, big brands like Playboy, Warner Bros., and CNN are looking for ways to turn their offerings into art pieces for digital ownership to drive engagement and benefit from this new revenue stream. Companies can use NFTs to reward consumers with exclusive access to events, real-life perks, and more. 

3. AR and VR are finally to realize their potential 

Augmented and virtual reality have reached the point of massive adoption and exploded commercial use. The Global Entertainment & Media Outlook by PWC lists VR as one of the fastest-growing media and entertainment industry trends in 2022. It also expects it to reach $7.6 billion by 2026. Headset sales are thriving and technology becomes more available to consumers. AR and VR use cases expand beyond gaming and in 2022 we will see them going mainstream.  

Trends in the entertainment industry

Now the multimedia and entertainment industry can use AR and VR technologies to provide users with new experiences and make its way to: 

  • Music shows and concerts. Leading artists including Imagine Dragons, Muse, and BTS have turned to VR and AR to stage live performances. Virtual events offer outstanding engagement and interaction, not to mention add-on sales. Considering these trends in the entertainment industry, you can close the gap caused by the pandemic and deliver exciting experiences or sell virtual products and tickets and so benefit from virtual spaces. 
  • Sports. Augmented reality has taken the lead in the sports industry because of its accessibility and interactivity. Sports leagues and agencies use webAR technology to engage with fans via a phone, tablet, or PC. Meanwhile, virtual portals can teleport users to the stadium and make them a part of the game using AR face effects and digital merchandise. 
  • Events and meetings. We’ve gotten used to remote work and travel restrictions, thanks in part to video apps and virtual events. We expect AR and VR technologies to be the next step in the evolution of video capabilities and online cooperation. Leveraging them for presentations or meetings, you enable audiences to see and explore even a minor detail. By doing so, you can improve the quality of online interactions and transform a regular event into a memorable experience. The recent virtual career fair is just another example of how AR can make such events more efficient and massively accessible. 
  • Gaming. The gaming sector has pioneered the adoption of AR and VR, and it continues trying new ways to engage customers through touch, smell, and taste. For instance, the Phasmophobia game is releasing an update for tact suits that allows ghosts to not only locate players by the sound of their voice but also to touch them. The introduction of haptics is expected to deepen immersion and make a user feel as if a ghost is really touching them. Meanwhile, the development of new gadgets for smell and feel experiences can encourage more companies to bring their content to the virtual world. 

As we can see, AR and VR will stop being a niche technology and will become one of the major entertainment industry trends 2022. The total revenue of consumer AR content and software is projected to hit $20 billion in 2025. So, don’t ignore these technologies while working on your business strategies for the upcoming years. 

4. AI boom in media and entertainment 

Nowadays, a personalized user experience is a key differentiator for media companies. Platforms like Spotify and Netflix leverage AI and ML to offer relevant content based on user behavior patterns and preferences. These algorithms collect and analyze data to provide consumers with interesting content and keep them constantly engaged. 

Moreover, data analytics services augmented with AI enable entertainment businesses to get unique insights across multiple channels in real-time and deliver excellent experiences. Consequently, artificial intelligence is without a doubt at the forefront of digital transformation in media and entertainment industry. 

Entertainment industry trends 2022

What’s more, AI may be beneficial for film and content production process automation. It can help automate nearly any task, including scriptwriting, content editing, casting, music composing, movie promotion, and pre-production. Meanwhile, Hollywood is already taking advantage of tech innovations to increase revenue. So, the proliferation of AI in the entertainment industry will boom and raise the standards of media production. 

It is worth noting that AI and ML algorithms cannot function properly without experienced software engineers. Proper data collection and analysis are crucial to guarantee tangible outcomes. So, if you lack the required skills and experience in-house, we recommend hiring a reliable tech partner to help you develop an effective and powerful AI ecosystem. 

5. D2C streaming platforms rising to the occasion 

Streaming isn’t a new direction compared to other entertainment industry trends on this list. Though the last two years have brought it to record-breaking heights as the pandemic turned into a golden mine for streaming services. While everything was shut down, restaurants shifted to a delivery model, and musicians performed online, streaming made restoration activities affordable, accessible, and safe.  

In 2022, watching TV, reality shows, and movies at home to avoid dangerous crowd gatherings remains one of the most resilient digital entertainment trends. And it won’t be going anywhere soon as the demand for high-quality video content keeps growing exponentially. So, it is no surprise that user-generated content distributors and streaming platforms fight for viewers’ attention. But E&M companies have accepted new game rules as the global over-the-top market (OTT) is projected to hit $1241.6 billion by 2030 despite any headwinds.  

Entertainment industry trends 2022

How you can use video streaming entertainment trends 2022 from a business perspective: 

  • Globalize content development  
  • Reinforce 5G and delivery infrastructures  
  • Capitalize on the ’80s and ’90s legacy and franchises 
  • Monetize social media impact 
  • Focus on diversity and inclusion on screen and behind the camera 
  • Explore a “short-form” video format 
  • Expand networks and cross-industry partnerships 
  • Move from content aggregation to the creation and licensing 
  • Increase M&A activity to consolidate across markets 

For now, direct-to-consumer streaming leaders—Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, Apple TV+, and Amazon Prime—try hard to meet users’ needs and deliver unique experiences through different personalized offerings. Moreover, their striking gains have also promoted niche free ad-supported TV (FAST) services. So, we can expect D2C companies to mature and evolve their business models, shifting to more up-to-date performance metrics and including flexible consumer pricing. 

Entertainment trends

Final thoughts on entertainment trends 

The media industry has always been dynamic and in 2022 it will need even more agility and creativity to keep up with user expectations and market developments. The listed entertainment trends prove that companies should prepare to deal with new challenges and seize opportunities to drive innovation and set themselves up for success. So, it is high time to double down on technology investment and digital strategy for entertainment industry to respond well to COVID-induced behavior changes. 

Entertainment trends 2022 key takeaways:  

  • E&M brands will leverage digital technologies to revolutionize their content and provide users with more capabilities 
  • Forward-looking leaders will maximize the benefits of entertainment industry trends through innovative business models 
  • Mergers and acquisitions with more tech-savvy companies will keep driving resilience and growth for old-timers 
  • Flexibility and readiness to rebrand quickly will be a must in the long run 
  • Video and AI-backed advertising will be crucial for E&M brands’ success