Despite the difficulties of 2020, one of the biggest industries showing strength had been within the online entertainment space, as online streaming platforms for both video and music found huge numbers, and other online entertainment such as gaming broke a number of different records. Much of this had been attributed to the widespread lockdowns in many countries across the world, but even heading toward the holiday period with relaxed measures these numbers continued to grow. Heading in to 2021, it looked to be more of the same as some announced restrictive measures early on, but with this came more chance for different forms of online entertainment to continue thriving, and they certainly look not to slow.
The biggest growth comes as late 2020 figures show a growing number of subscriptions to various services such as Netflix and Disney+, whilst figures had remained steady throughout 2019, there had been growth in each quarter throughout 2020 with Q3 2020 having the highest number of active subscriptions ever. With news coming that many of these services will also start to offer the latest blockbuster releases directly to streaming platforms too throughout 2021 such as the Warner Bros announcement to do so, these numbers may only continue to rise with those forgoing visiting the cinema due to the pandemic will take full advantage of an online alternative – and with speculation this change will stick around for some studios in the long term, more may jump onboard for a digital alternative whilst offline locations remain a risk factor.
Gaming has also been performing extremely well – the release on the new consoles has certainly bolstered the online presence as Sony managed to sell between 2 to 2.5 million units of the new Playstation 5 in just the first day, but the big winners have been online platforms. The biggest, Steam, is a PC based gaming library which managed to reach 25 million concurrent users over Christmas breaking its previous record, and more accessible platforms such as mobile gaming have been thriving as many players turn to games such as online gambling and online casinos to replace the offline alternatives which have spent the better part of last year remaining closed. This has also resulted in some great offers to be had for players, with many looking to bet with bet9ja on upcoming events. Many experts have even suggested these newer players will be retained in the online space over the next year as they have become more comfortable with the change to digital, and may be unwilling to change back with risk factors remaining high and further uncertainty over the progression of the coronavirus pandemic.
With other institutions such as education set to be in a digital frontier for the foreseeable future, or for many at least until 2022, the online space will be bustling with new activity to meet the demands of this changing infrastructure and entertainment will continue to be at the heart of it, and with further announcement of lockdowns in countries such as the UK, many will certainly experience a very strong start to the year, and potentially longer if measures are extended.