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Entertainment Industry Updates

December 05, 2023

The death of streaming.

Troubles are ahead for streamers forced to face the reality of unprofitable business models. With revenues shrinking, audiences fragmenting, subscriptions being canceled, and content more expensive to churn, it's time to adapt. Now, desperate to recreate the lucrative format of cable television, streamers are scrambling to offer ad-supported models, with mergers in the space imminent. All to suggest, a future that looks much like the past, with ad revenue and fewer platforms to choose from. As a landscape consolidation sets in, we're eyeing YouTube as the power player to bet on. With YouTube TV, its role as a home for creators, the NFL partnership, and a new gaming hub, they're on track to become the go-to for easy viewing.

Move over, middlemen.

Tired of corporate censorship and operational hurdles, entertainers are railing against old systems as they realize they no longer need middlemen in today’s digital world and consumer-driven landscape. Both Ryan Reynolds and Idris Elba have launched their own ad agencies, allowing for complete autonomy over marketing and positioning, and hinting at a broader trend of “in-house everything.” Similarly, artists exercise creative control by launching their own production companies and networks, from comedian Nate Bergatze’s “Nateland” to Dr. Phil’s “Merit Street Media.” Meanwhile, Taylor Swift pioneers for direct distribution, eliminating the studios and selling straight to theatres to negotiate her Eras Tour concert film. The suits are in trouble!

Sirius XM and the case for radio.

With endless listening options overwhelming consumers, tuning into a go-to “channel” finds new appeal. Once headed for obsoletism, Sirius XM is making moves to compete for consumers’ digital-audio attention. A new all-access streaming plan and appaims to challenge Spotify and Apple Music, while new programming deals like John Mayer’s Life With JM channel modernize the concept of a good-ol-fashioned radio show for digitally native audiences. Much like the impending consolidation shift with streamers, this is an opportunity for brand partners and advertisers to capitalize on listeners' loyalty.

A new era of fandom is here.

More closely related to consumer identity and belief than ever, fandom has been turbocharged by modern branding. Layer in AI, and consumer-facing opportunities multiply exponentially. Known for its savvy social-media marketing and exclusive merch, arthouse production company A24 has risen to mainstream hype brand, capitalizing on niche fandom with a new membership-based all-access app and more commercial projects like a Friday the 13th prequel TV series, which will air on Peacock. As seen with the Barbie movie, brands are the new Marvel IP—we expect many to follow Mattel’s plans to turn  other IPs into Hollywood fodder. And while many fear AI in the arts, positive use-cases will mobilize existing fanbases with attention to authenticity. Beatles fans can now stream the band’s final, unfinished song, Now And Then,thanks to a collaborative effort between Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, and machine-learning engineers able to extract John Lennon’s voice.

Hot genres: Rom-Coms and Coming of Age.

In recent years, consumer angst and rage welcomed a renaissance and mainstreaming of the horror genre. Now as 2024 approaches, The Co.’s calling a return of classic Rom-Coms and Coming of Age stories, with viewers seeking true comfort and guidance to cope with the anxieties of today. Several key works of 2023 serve as early indicators. Hit Rom-Com No Hard Feelings brought new life to a dwindling R-rated comedy category and attracted a distinctly wide audience, equally distributed across ages 18-64. Throwback young-adult novels were resurrected, from Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret film adaptation, to a new Percy Jackson novel and forthcoming TV adaptation. Pay attention to upcoming releases in these genres for partnership and licensing opportunities.

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