The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on businesses across the globe. Washing hands, wearing masks, and streaming movies instead of going to cinemas are some of the rituals shared globally. Governments and various health organizations need to work closely to develop amicable solutions to this menace. Quarantined actors have also been forced to develop creative shows to engage with their audience and make money. Since the pandemic began, the number of digital gyms and digital clubs has increased tremendously, especially in countries worst hit, such as China. Even though there are several vaccines now on the market, more needs to be done to secure the gaming and entertainment industry’s sustainability. Companies that relied on offline mediums to connect with customers should embrace online communication platforms
Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the Film Industry
It goes without saying that the offline entertainment industry was hit worse by the pandemic than online entertainment platforms such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. According to a report by Statista, the global film industry lost USD 7 billion as of March 2020. Theatres were forced to close down due to lockdowns and stringent social distance regulations. Movie premieres and screenings were either terminated or postponed. Experts have warned that the industry is set to lose more than USD 10 billion in revenue if the second wave of the virus is not contained.
Meanwhile, Netflix, one of the leading online movie streaming service providers, recorded 15.77 million new subscribers while Disney+ recorded 22 million new subscribers during the lockdown period.
The internet is under immense pressure due to the increase in the number of users streaming movies and watching TV. Internet service providers are reported to be investing heavily in new equipment to meet the demand for high-speed internet connections. Like online movie streaming companies, internet service providers are benefiting from an increase in the number of customers, especially in developing countries.
Business analysts are also projecting an upsurge in the number of companies offering movie streaming services online. Some businesses that have been forced to close their physical shop may decide to change their business model to take advantage of this opportunity as well. However, they need to make tactical decisions and calculated risks to rival the existing companies.
Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Casinos and Online Gaming Platforms
Online gaming has also gained massive traction due to the lockdowns imposed by governments. The prolonged shutdown of casinos has resulted in massive losses. A good example is MGM Resorts, based in Las Vegas that recorded a net loss of USD 857 million in 2020. The resorts are best known for offering hospitality services and casinos that attract millions of gamblers from all across the globe. A report by Global Porker published in the last quarter of 2020 indicated that the number of first-time online poker players increased by 255% in the US alone. An increase in the number of active social gambling mobile applications will continue to fuel the growth of the industry as people continue to stay at home.
In 2019, this ballooning industry was estimated to be worth USD 58.96 billion, and it’s expected to hit USD 92.86 billion by 2023 and USD 113.12 billion by 2025. Online casino companies have also increased their spending on promotion and marketing activities. Virtually all of them offer extra bonuses, games, tournaments, and markets to lure in more clients. Influencer marketing is also one of the most prominent marketing strategies that gaming companies are using to reach out to more customers. They are willing to spend thousands of dollars per month contracting multiple influencers to help promote their brands. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Tiktok has also gained significant prominence during this period.
Indeed, we are living in apocalyptic times, and businesses need to come up with smart ways of doing business to stay afloat. The new nature of living and doing business has forced millions of people to change how they spend money on entertainment. In one of the recent articles posted in The New York Times, consumer spending on online streaming services increased by 20-50%. The statistics clearly indicate that even though most of the mainstream businesses are negatively affected by the pandemic, there are online businesses that are profiting from it. Those offline businesses need to transition to doing business online to stay afloat. The government could also offer incentives and programs to help them achieve this goal.