Ilya Kislenko
Ilya Kislenko 30 January 2020

How Mobile Apps Are Transforming The Entertainment Industry

Apps have transformed the entertainment industry by introducing an on-demand dimension. Now people can enjoy the fun on their terms, or entertain others.

Movies, games, theatre, dance, television, and radio are all part of the entertainment industry. The rise of technology has changed more or less each of these domains. Mobile apps in particular have transformed most of creative business models entirely while helping entertainment providers reach more clients.

The digitalisation of the entertainment industry has also led to more engagement after live performances and helped entertainers and their agencies sell more merchandise, creating additional revenue flows. Right now, with AR and VR becoming more and more popular, the app market has exploded. These changes are mostly driven by flexibility and mobility offered by technologies.

There were over 4 billion internet users as well as over 5 billion smartphone users at the end of 2018, and the numbers are going up every day. All these users have at least some free time when they turn to their mobile devices looking for fun.

And people are always on the go too. They can’t watch their favorite shows following a schedule. They want to watch a movie or play a game when they have a free moment, pause at any given time, and resume as soon as they want to relax again.

Creators’ Democracy

With the help of mobile apps, all content creators can reach their fans and grow a consistent follower base from the comfort of their living room. Apps have removed the need to have access to old-school industry platforms like TV channels and expensive tools to create and promote your works.

For example, with the use of a regular smartphone, free editing software, and YouTube, a new generation of influencers is growing. Podcasts are also rising in popularity. Through these media platforms, creators can connect with their audience, reply to questions, crowdsource for ideas, and promote products.

Apps also allow amateurs to become much better content creators through short and straightforward learning curves. While a few years ago, photo editing skills required specialised know-how, today most teenagers can create stunning content. The rise of Tik-Tok only proves this.

Pocket Gaming

Humans have enjoyed and learned from games in the last five thousand years. The gaming industry has been evolving continuously in close connection to the technological changes. The first computer games appeared in the ’50s. Today, PC and console gaming follow suit. Fans wait for the new releases every year, and it is all about using AR & VR to create new immersive worlds.

However, people also love to have fun on the go, during their commute or a small break, and entertainment apps are a great way to do this.

A growing trend in the gaming industry is the rise of pocket gaming.  Smartphone-friendly games are becoming more popular than PC or console games which require serious investment in hardware. The current focus is on multi-player games that bring together players from all over the world in a collaborative effort. 

Interactive TV Shows       

Lifestyle TV shows and talent contests are among the most popular entertainment TV forms right now. People watch these with more interest than TV series because they foster stronger emotional connections between the contestants and the viewers.

An app can bridge the gap between unidirectional entertainment (just watching the TV show) and being part of a community. Smart TV producers have partnered with developers to create dedicated mobile apps for their shows. The goal is often to create a platform where people can replay their favorite parts of the show, vote for contestants, find like-minded fans, and buy merchandise.

An excellent example of this is the TV show app created by MBicycle for X Factor UK. The developers focused on creating a user-friendly environment where viewers could vote for their favorite performers in real time.

No More Content Piracy

A decade ago, music was mostly distributed on physical media like vinyl, cassettes, DVDs or CDs. Right now, you only keep those if you are working as a DJ or are very nostalgic. Digital streaming services like iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and more are there to provide endless hours of your favorite songs and videos at little to no cost.

Removing the entry barriers for artists is a creative revolution in itself. Distribution costs for a new album are close to zero; anyone can upload their work online. This leads to a very crowded scene, where the right keywords or even paid advertising can make the difference.

Entertainment apps have also helped fight content piracy. Buying a DVD or going to the cinema could be potentially too expensive for some social groups. But offering these people the alternative of an affordable monthly subscription (like Netflix does) can make them less likely to consume pirated content and more willing to have access to good-quality original movies.

The Social Media Imperative

People use social media apps to entertain themselves. They replaced TV for some age groups and sometimes user-generated content is getting more traction than conventional types of entertainment. Sharing images and videos, creating and posting original content, and following others keeps people so busy that they have to set daily usage limits to avoid procrastination.

The entertainment industry has no other choice but to embrace this trend. Artists must be present on most social media platforms and maintain their profiles with relevant content to make a name for themselves.

Where is this going?

The bottom line is that apps will continue to change the entertainment scene. We are just starting to get used to what these tools can provide for artists, talent management agencies, and media distributors. With the rise of AR/VR and improvements in internet speed, the importance of the digital experience will only grow, and developers will be under ever-increasing pressure to create more attractive and friendlier apps. 

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