2021 has certainly been pivotal for many industries. With technology advancing exponentially, ESG at the forefront of boardroom agendas and COVID-19 still impacting consumer behaviour, companies are having to adapt, shift, transform and innovate in order to serve new customer needs and trends. As we come to the end of the year, many are wondering whether 2022 will hold more of the same, or whether we’ll see any new, seismic shifts. So, we’ve asked our Partner team to share their thoughts.

For the Media & Entertainment industry, we’ve asked one of our experts, Iliya Rybchin, to share his insights on what we’re likely to see in the year ahead. What new trends will emerge? What is going to shift? Find Iliya’s thoughts below:

Out with the old, in with the new

As 2021 comes to a close, the initial M&A activity seen throughout the year will only continue to accelerate in 2022. We expect many of the large media companies to go on shopping sprees for smaller sub-scale brands and/or digital-first media brands. Additionally, some of the digital-native media brands will look to consolidate, as none of them want to be left standing alone when the music stops. This trend isn’t anticipated to slow down anytime soon.

What’s old will become new again

Expect to see additional regulations emerging for social media, targeted advertising, personally identifiable information (PII) and use of AI, as these continue to be critical components of most media and entertainment monetization strategies. 

Because of this, traditional advertising (print, OOH, radio, for example) tactics will likely see a resurgence as advertisers realize they now have a limited ability to personalise or attribute digital ads, due to the demise of cookies. 

Time for change

There will be a reckoning of subscription video on demand (SVOD) players as the initial wave of subscribers start cancelling in significant numbers. This may be attributed to the perfect storm of consumers reconciling multiple subscriptions (Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV, Google TV, Peacock, etc.) combined with the expiration of an initially attractive acquisition offers (e.g., first year subscription at 50% discount).

What goes up must come down

It goes without saying, NFTs have been a major talking point throughout 2021. The past year saw everyone experimenting with NFTs. And while experimenting is great, viable long-term business models are better. I predict that the NFT fever will die down in 2022 as the prices of expensive NFTs collapse, and new ones struggle to captivate buyers. While there may be a slowdown in NFT experiments, the breathless media coverage will continue.

“Real world” vs. digital experiences

After two years of exclusively digital commerce, physical retail shopping will continue to see a resurgence, albeit temporary, as consumers seek out “real world” shopping experiences. While it wasn’t just COVID-19 that caused the initial shift to more online shopping; the resurgence likely won’t last long, and consumers will continue favouring the convenience of digital commerce. 

Contrary to the resurgence of physical shopping, movie theater business will be hanging on by a thread as Hollywood’s theatrical release strategy doubles down on direct-to-streaming releases. While theaters may continue to show superhero and franchise films, younger audiences will continue to gravitate to digital viewing, putting the industry in an even more critical state.

We can help you navigate and take advantage of these opportunities in 2022. Get in touch today to talk to one of our experts.