Six Trends That Will Drive a Seismic Shift in the Media and Entertainment Industry This Year

Viewer demands for control and new experiences are driving change across the media and entertainment industry, according to a new report by EY.

The report, titled Future of Television, dentifies six key trends that will transform television in the years ahead.

“The media and entertainment industry is experiencing a seismic shift in monetization and storytelling—with an ever-expanding array of channels, platforms, devices and experiences,” says Martin Lundie, EY partner and Canadian media industry leader.

“The biggest obstacle many face is keeping up with the pace of change,” he added. “Technology is accelerating so quickly that addressing daily operational challenges while planning for the next big thing is nearly impossible.”

Here are EY’s six trends that it believes will drive a “seismic shift” in the media and entertainment industry in 2014.

1. Storytelling will evolve to make better use of an omni-platform environment. Multiple screens that work seamlessly together will enable new story arcs and create greater opportunities for content producers to innovate with their audiences.

2. Ubiquitous screens will demand greater content mobility. As more screens appear in more places — from different rooms in a house to vehicles and public spaces — there will be an increased demand for content that can seamlessly follow viewers wherever they go.

3. Social dynamics and synergistic experiences will drive more event-based viewing. While the viewing landscape grows increasingly fractured, consumers still want to be part of the collective social experience of events such as the World Cup or the Academy Awards.

4. Innovative program discovery and TV controls will drive new clutter-reducing techniques. Tablets and other devices will make program search and discovery more intuitive and tailored to an individual’s preferences. Content providers will have to optimize their content for searching, much like they do for search engines, to push relevant and appealing material to the viewer.

5. Binging will drive more innovation in measurement and personalization. With the rise of video-on-demand platforms, consumers are now watching several hours of back-to-back content in a single sitting. Companies will need to develop methods to measure and better understand this unique viewing pattern in order to better package content.

6. New entrants demanding unique content will drive innovation beyond the traditional studio system. With programming now being produced by a greater number of players, creative talent will have greater freedom and the ability to take more risks.

“At the heart of each emerging trend is the need for a stronger relationship with viewers,” notes Lundie. “Companies must invest in technologies that enable them to analyze audience data, deliver deeper engagement with advertising and prove incremental value to brands. The future of television is about offering a cutting-edge content experience.”