How has Covid-19 affected the Entertainment Industry


How has Covid-19 affected the Entertainment Industry

Thu, 30 May 2024

The pandemic has had a huge impact on the entertainment industry, from the way that it is enjoyed by audiences, to the production process. Both in terms of theatrical and in-home entertainment there were some fairly seismic shifts that took place during 2020 and 2021. Production shut down on film sets, theatres were closed and millions of people all over the world were subject to national lockdowns – there was no escaping the impact of COVID-19. So, what impact have we seen where the entertainment industry is concerned?

A drop in global revenue

According to the most recent report from The Motion Picture Association the value of the entire global theatrical/mobile entertainment market in 2020 was $80.8 billion. While this may seem impressive it’s actually the lowest figure since 2016 and a drop of 18% on the year before. It’s perhaps not surprising that the biggest drop in revenue was for theatrical entertainment. Theatrical entertainment made up just 15% of the global total in 2020  – it was 43% the year before.

A rise in digital sectors

Digital services, such as on-demand and streaming options, stepped in where shut-downs left consumers without access to the entertainment industry. Revenue in digital entertainment rose to $61.8 billion in 2020 and digital media accounted for three quarters of total theatrical home/mobile entertainment revenue.

Fewer TV shows

Given the restrictions that were in place on people mixing during the height of the pandemic, producing new originally-scripted TV shows became a huge challenge. In 2020 there were 493 scripted TV programs, compared to the 532 in 2020. Delays to production thanks to COVID-19 have meant that many of the programmes that were supposed to be filmed in 2020 have now been scheduled for production this year. This even affected the streaming world – Netflix experienced a 12% drop in the number of original shows on its books in the early part of 2021.

Less movie releases too

For much the same reasons as the drop in TV shows, the global pandemic also affected the number of movies ready for release. Release dates were pushed back to accommodate travel restrictions and ‘no mixing’ rules and production stalled on sets all over the world. While 987 films were made in 2019 this number dropped by around two thirds during the first year of the pandemic when 338 movies were released.

Box office receipts fell

2020 was a real low for the entertainment industry in terms of box office receipts. Annual movie attendance had been sitting at well over a billion for decades but in 2020 this fell to 240 million for the entire year. The top grossing movie was Bad Boys For Life, which was released at the start of 2020. The fall in box office receipts marked a 40 year low – which could also be an all-time low – and a real challenge for those working in the industry.

COVID-19 had a seismic impact on the entertainment industry, from box office receipts to the breadth of entertainment available.

Scott Fleary are a leading designer and installer of scenery, set construction, and technical solutions for the creative industry. More information on the various Scott Fleary's services can be found here:

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