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Future Growth Areas for Media & Entertainment

According to Brett Sappington, Vice President, Interpret, there are currently many multifaceted and exciting emerging future growth areas for media and entertainment, including shortform video, livestreaming, livestream commerce, and interactive video.

Regarding shortform video, Sappington declares, “Thank you, TikTok! They really kind of opened the door. There was Vine and a lot of these other options. In many of the studies that we do, consumers are actually pining for Vine, wishing that it was back, because they like it, but it went away too quickly. But now TikTok and shortform video are really popular.”

With livestreaming, Sappington emphasizes that Twitch and other types of livestreaming platforms are quite popular and are continuing to gain momentum. But when it comes to livestream commerce, Sappington remarks, “Some of you may say, ‘what the heck is that?’” He explains, “That is an influencer talking about products in a livestream, and consumers having the ability to buy through that livestream.”

Sappington says that livestream commerce’s popularity started in Asia. “But if you look on Amazon Prime and go to their livestream, you will see a whole set of influencers talking about products. They're trying it out. Sometimes they'll do reviews, but in many cases, they're just talking about it, and they build followers.” This new promotion of livestream commerce is also being done on other major platforms such as YouTube. “It’s becoming a bigger and bigger part of consumption today,” he says, “both from the viewership side and also from the business side.”

Interactive video has also been exploding in popularity. According to Sappington, an essential element of interactive video is knowing your audience. With their established presence and extensive audience development, major streamers such as Netflix are perfectly poised to further implement interactive video. “If you know your audience,” he says, “you're able to do all these things. You're able to add shortform and reach them through livestreaming, even livestream commerce, and interactive video gaming content. So is it any wonder that Netflix is getting into gaming and having gaming as part of their streaming services?” He also highlights that, “it can't be just a gimmick because gamers don't do that. It has to be something that is entertaining.”

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are also realms that many brands and content companies are concerned with at the moment. But Sappington doesn’t believe there is enough commercially viable substance to these areas yet. “Heaven forbid, I'll say the ‘M’ word--‘metaverse’ right now. I bring it up only because I get more questions from brands and from content companies today about metaverse than I get about anything else.” But Sappington does not think there is much to be concerned about in this area yet. “I promise the wave of metaverse is a lot of foam and very little wave right now,” he says. “It's a thing, but it's really a thing in name only. But that said, we've got a lot of customers that are really interested in making sure that they're positioned because they don't want to be left out.”

Learn more about M & E trends at Streaming Media West 2022.

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