We’ve all heard about AR, VR and blockchain, but what exactly are entertainment and media businesses doing with these technologies?
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The last decade has seen massive changes in how consumers view media, how businesses create those media and how marketers advertise on them. Cable TV, for example, lost an unprecedented number of customers in Q3 of 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal, as people opted for subscription-based TV services. And live video streaming is captivating viewers and marketers alike, with adoption rates at 35 percent in 2018, up from 28 percent in 2017, according to Social Media Examiner.
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Even cryptocurrency has found its footing in the media and entertainment world, operating as a more decentralized mode of payment that many creators and users prefer.
The platforms through which we are exposed to music, movies and other forms of media are evolving at such a pace that it is difficult to wrap our heads around this phenomenon. And, despite this pace at which the entertainment sector is evolving, we can make certain predictions that will be beneficial to all involved:
1. Artificial intelligence
As it’s doing in many other industries, artificial intelligence is making a splash. One of the first examples of AI influence in the media and entertainment industry is TiVo, a cable service that made personalized recommendations based on the user’s watching habits.
Today, AI is making the process of creating new content significantly more efficient for businesses, publications and online creators. Even Forbes is using a bot named Bertie, which “recommends article topics for contributors based on their previous output, headlines based on the sentiment of their pieces, and images too,” Digiday reported.
Similarly, AI can be used to quickly create new ads and movie trailers, and to streamline pre- and post-production processes, making all steps involved more cohesive, less costly and faster.
2. Virtual and augmented reality
While the use of VR and AR in media and entertainment is relatively new, those alternative realities are already captivating consumers and making businesses money. Captive, for instance, has paired blockchain tech with AR to create new user experiences in which consumers interact with brands in new and entertaining ways. Once users register with the app, they can acquire “Captive coins.” Those coins can then be used to buy real goods in the Captive marketplace.
In the same way Pokémon GO operates (as another example of augmented reality), businesses can encourage shoppers to visit their brick-and-mortar locations by rewarding users with tokens in exchange for visiting the business.
Disney has a similar vision with its Play Disney Parks app. The app provides games that users can play while they are waiting in line at Disney theme parks. Using Bluetooth beacons, Disney tracks where players are located in real time and then asks players to search for markers near their locations. Players can also use the app to trigger real-world events. Example: While standing in line near Peter Pan’s Flight ride, players can make Tinkerbell appear inside a lantern.
In 2017 The Global Entertainment and Media outlook forecast predicted that by 2020, VR content revenue would increase to $5 billion, making it one of the hottest trends in the media and entertainment industry.
3. Personalized advertisements
Due to the increased personalization made possible by AI, it’s likely that generalized, traditional advertisements and product placements will soon be non-existent. These methods will be phased out in favor of more targeted, personalized content. Imagine, for instance, a commercial using your name, or referencing a specific behavior that you took — sound crazy? Well, 71 percent of consumers prefer personalized ads, and — for that reason — marketers are doing more and more of it, according to Adlucent.
It’s only a matter of time until ads become so personalized (with the use of AI, behavioral data, and even facial recognition) that every ad out there is directed at a specific buyer persona and, eventually, a specific person.
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Blockchain is another element that has the potential to radically change the entertainment industry. One of the sector’s primary problems is that creators are often financially robbed by distributors and labels. But Blockchain has the potential to remove the middle man from entertainment and media distribution.
ENX Coin, started by RoccStar Youngblood, is one of the first examples of a decentralized streaming platform through which creators, producers and consumers can take part in a more equitable system. Youngblood’s music career reads like a Who’s Who Hollywood List — he’s produced hits for Chris Brown, Fergie, Jlo, Usher, Prince Royce and others — and he aims to bring decentralization and efficiency to a space that has been notoriously resistant. He also wants to provide new distribution models to remove the middleman by going directly to consumers.
His platform offers access to streaming services and live events for music, movies and TV. ENX coin specifically uses blockchain to create a forgery-resistant currency that provides transparency for all involved.
At this point, many questions arise about the entertainment sector and those who invest in it; it is difficult to know what will happen to collective viewership, or to major labels. Yet while we can’t predict how the industry will evolve, we can make certain predictions based on what has occurred.
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And here increased personalization is key, just as it is in the marketing world. This means increased personalization in both viewing choices and advertising. So it’s safe to assume that there will be changes to the way media is made and distributed, and to the use of blockchain, such as ENX coin demonstrates, which will (hopefully) emphasize fairness, new distribution channels and transparency.