Frank Radice

Expert in Residence

January 215 min read

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Entertainment in 2020: Streaming Solidifies Its Empire and Broadcast Continues to Decline

The New York Times recently wrote that “every three decades, or roughly once a generation, Hollywood [and media] experience a seismic shift. The transition from silent films to talkies in the 1920s. The rise of broadcast television in the 1950s. The raucous “I Want My MTV” cable boom of the 1980s. It is happening again. The long-promised streaming revolution — the next great leap in how the world gets its entertainment — is finally here.” 

Last year at the SCAD ATVfest in Atlanta, I predicted that Broadcast TV would become the home of “Event TV,” breaking news, sports, and live programs. Cable would continue to serve the discerning viewer of Drama and Comedy, while the stream will encompass all of it.  

Since then, Sling TV and Hulu and others have added live content, Amazon is into sports, and Netflix is the world’s leader in entertainment, as evidenced by the stunning Oscar nomination dominance.

Here’s what’s coming in 2020:

  • Ad supported TV will suffer significant declines in viewership. The prevailing thinking is the numbers will continue to decline, but the upfront season will tell the tale.
  • Pay cable TV will drop below the magic number of 80 million households.
  • “In 2019, among total viewers, AMC was down 22%; FX, down 21%; USA, down 18%; OWN, down 17%; TBS, down 17%; and TNT, down 14%.” according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Streaming media will overtake traditional TV in 2020.
  • There will be ad supported, subscription, and free content on-demand, and all will thrive (Hulu is paving the way). Netflix, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Comcast, and just about every other big player will surely change the marketplace. NBC is already on top of this with their release of Peacock (an ad-supported streaming service) and Peacock Premium (free for cable subscribers and $4.99 for everyone else). The cable bundle will be replaced by the OTT bundle.
  • Digital product placement will have a big impact on a new advertising paradigm with companies like RYFF taking the lead.
  • Voice AI will become more than just personal assistants. It will evolve into an advertising medium as well as a marketing and content distribution tool. Comscore predicts that this year 50% of all online search will be with voice, and Edison research points out that 1 in 6 Americans owned a smart speaker.

And finally, as we enter a new decade...

  • Podcasting will evolve into a big-money business. What was once a fad in the late ’90s has grown into a content phenomenon. Blubrry Podcast Statistics report that 51% of the US population has listened to a podcast, with more than 800,000 podcasts and 30 million episodes available now.
  • Social Media Influencers will lose steam. My feeling is, people are tiring of them as they become little more than celebrity shills – particularly influencers with astronomical followings (many of which are purchased bots).
  • Immersive Media will turn a profit as AR becomes a utilitarian tool, and VR becomes a popular place-based entertainment (think “The Void”). You can read more about how easy it is to implement AR here.
  • Local TV will once again thrive. Most Americans still get their local news from TV, and big station groups like Sinclair are paving the way.
  • Security problems won’t be solved. Right now there are upwards of 1 million Cybersecurity alerts, and only about 51% of them get a response according to EDR Predictive Analytics. That’s a dark, deep hole.

And one more thing...

”Netflix was the highest performing stock of the decade, delivering a 4,000% return” -CNBC

Happy New Year everyone.

Entertainment Streaming Broadcast