Streaming video, social media, and gaming are helping to enable new business models and reshaping media and entertainment. But the real story for 2023 is that these three sectors are increasingly becoming more interdependent as part of a broader and richer media and entertainment ecosystem. Successful companies will likely develop strong visions that span these sectors and pull their entire industries forward.
In 2023, indications show that change in the media and entertainment business is likely to continue. Studios and video streamers face the reality of their own market disruption, trying to find profits in a less profitable business. They not only compete with each other for attention, time, and revenues, but with social media, user-generated content, and video games. The latter have evolved more quickly, staying close to younger demographics.
While streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services spend billions on content to tempt fickle subscribers, social media services have more free video content than they can manage. Top social media services are leaning into user-generated video (UGC), emphasizing users’ interests more than their connections—and looking more like a new kind of personalized TV. While the creator economy has supported social media and brought independent creators closer to their audiences, creator incomes are still lean and unreliable. Leading UGC services seem unsure how best to support their content creators and brand ambassadors while keeping their own costs down. At the same time, more socializing may be shifting into messaging services that lean into utility more than entertainment.
This year’s outlook doesn’t have its own chapter on video games. Instead, gaming is represented throughout. In 2023, the story of gaming is that it is impacting every part of the media and entertainment industry. All entertainment strategies should consider video games, from simple mobile games to massively multiplayer services and rich hyper-realistic narrative game worlds. Gaming may also highlight the tight communities and fandoms that can help sustain and amplify entertainment franchises. In 2023, it may become clear that video, social, messaging, and interactive are all part of the same ecosystem of engagement.