From the moment the internet became a major part of everyday leisure, entertainment technology and streaming services started to change the whole sector at a rapid pace.
Home Entertainment Trends to Watch
Between 2007 and 2018 alone, Australia’s entertainment industry made close to $36 billion dollars. Huge changes that shake our routines pop up so often that keeping track of the state of home entertainment isn’t easy anymore.
It’s not easy, that is, if you don’t know where to look—but you’re in the right place. Brush up on your entertainment knowledge with this quick guide.
- A Streaming App for Everything
Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll were major pioneers of online video streaming. Crunchyroll is free to this day and works on most devices—but plays nothing but anime. Hulu used to be free but you now have to pay each month for all plans. Netflix turned away from DVDs to become a massive streaming platform in 2007, ushering in a new era of media.
YouTube has ruled online video since it debuted in 2005. It’s always been free to watch, supported by ads. As paid streaming platforms popped up, the executives realized they could make more money from premium TV shows and movies.
In 2017, they launched a streaming service called YouTube TV. The service is a package comparable to a cable plan in one app. It offers TV streaming like Hulu or Netflix, with a broader selection and a much higher cost. Like Hulu’s pricier live TV package, YouTube TV has live programming.
YouTube has a leg up on the competition after securing exclusive contracts with the NBA and other networks. YouTube’s streaming service offers a broad selection of channels for a high price like a traditional cable company. In recent years, many networks broke off and offered closed-off apps for a fraction of the cost. Prices in the $5-10 range reel in consumers who don’t always notice costs adding up.
Disney made an unprecedented move when they took all of their content off of other platforms and restricted it to their new service, Disney+. Other lower-cost, exclusive platforms include Discovery+ and Paramount+.
Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, made a throwback movie that recalls Hulu’s early years. It has a free, ad-supported option with limited content. People who don’t like ads and want more shows can upgrade for a small fee per month.
- Rebelling Against the Costs
When iTunes began and started to corner the digital media market, netizens rebelled by starting a vast range of illegal pirating platforms. For some time, almost everyone enjoyed services like The Pirate Bay, Limewire, and underground streaming websites. People accepted high chances of corrupted and mislabeled files to get their hands on free media.
In the mid-2010s, governing bodies suppressed illegal media streaming and downloads. It’s no coincidence that paid streaming services became dominant during this period. People started feeling like they had no other choice than to buy memberships and got used to the concept.
Illegal media downloads are still easy to access if you know where to look, but most people resigned themselves to paying for streaming networks. Young people don’t know how to pirate anymore, which is great news or a little disappointing, depending on your perspective and personal code of ethics.
Now that many major networks decided to break off and make their content exclusive, there’s new demand for free media. Crackle and Pluto TV are a couple of major free streaming platforms.
Peacock’s decision to offer an ad-supported free option gives a little hope to people who want to stream major networks without paying.
Another way to get free TV is by looking to the past. Some people buy home TV antennas rather than submitting to streaming fees. You can get all your local stations with a one-time purchase with this method.
If you’re not up-to-date on this trend, it’s more popular than you may think. That’s great news because if you give it a try and need help, it’s not very hard to find a TV antenna repair service.
- Entertainment on Smartphones
One home entertainment trend that bridges the gap between home and away is the increased popularity of smartphone video. It’s easier than ever to access all the new streaming platforms such as Disney+ and Peacock on one’s cellphone.
In the last couple of years, some mobile-only platforms attempted to corner the market. Their thought process was that since so many people spend a huge amount of time glued to their phones, they’d be willing to pay for phone-only video streaming. The best-known attempt was Quibi—famous for being a major flop.
Other mobile video platforms have enjoyed much more success. TikTok continues to rocket in popularity. Its success with young audiences suggests it’ll be here for many, many years to come.
- Smart Home Entertainment Technology
While it’s easier than ever to enjoy media on the go, there’s still great appeal to a nice home theater. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut public theatres down, folks with nice movie screens and home sound systems thanked the heavens for their choice. Others scrambled to update their entertainment centres to make the best of a bad situation.
Smart home technology keeps raising the bar for home theaters and personal TV setups. Smart TVs and smart speakers improve all the time, making listening to and watching media simpler than ever before.
People who love their internet-connected tech are happy to say they’ll never lose a TV remote ever again. All they need to turn on their TVs or change the channel is their voices.
Home entertainment will keep shifting as new smart technology comes out. Each year, smart home appliances become more commonplace. Chances are good that in time, traditional home entertainment equipment will be as unpopular as non-smartphones.
Keep Up With the Latest News and Entertainment
These trends show how the internet and home entertainment technology continue shaking up the way we consume media. If you want to stay on top of other entertainment trends and the news stories you should know, you’re in the right place. Click on another article to learn more valuable information that you’ll wonder how you ever did without.