While media and entertainment was one of the first industries to embrace digital innovations, its transformation is far from over. 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 

What people expect from the multimedia and entertainment industry today is radically different from what it was just a few years ago. So, companies should accelerate their innovation plans and adapt quickly if they want to survive and compete successfully. 

Entertainment industry trends

On one hand, digitalization and intelligent automation are changing the media in all its forms. On the other hand, they present new growth opportunities and greater resilience for businesses. So, what potential benefits can transformation bring? Below we share a list of top 4 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. 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. 

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. 

Entertainment industry trends 2022

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. 

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.