Trends and Statistics Media & Entertainment Leaders Should Know For 2021

By: Danielle Chazen
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Media and Entertainment (M&E) entered a new era in light of COVID-19. Demand for content, while many are stuck indoors, has increased, but the competition has never been higher. At the beginning of this new year, it’s clear that original content is the greatest factor driving consumer entertainment adoption. M&E leaders need to find creative ways to attract a wider audience, but more importantly, think outside the box when it comes to retaining their consumers. 

This wide range of recent statistics, trends and predictions should help media production and entertainment leaders better understand their desired audiences. Winners in 2021 will be those who provide a wide range of personalized content that’s accessible to all. 


1. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising won’t recover until 2022.

2. Digital ad sales will account for over half of total global ad sales by 2022.
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Statistics & trends

1. Consumers want tailored options in terms of content and pricing
The churn rate among over-the-top services in the US rose from 35% in Q1 2019 to 41% in Q1 2020. Content providers must look to provide more personalized ways to appeal to consumers and edge out the competition, whether it be through pricing or finding ways to speak to audiences by analyzing and acting on data of their desires and preferences.

2. Many consumers will watch ads to access programming for free
47% of consumers watch at least one free ad-supported streaming video service, (a growth rate of 18% since the onset of COVID-19)
– 65% of consumers say they’re comfortable watching ads to eliminate or reduce subscription costs and even prefer ad-supported options for streaming video services if given a choice.

3. Captioned content has become the new norm
Adding captions to your video can boost view time by 12% according to Facebook.
– A recent study by PLYmedia saw a 40% increase in views of captioned videos versus uncaptioned.
– Viewers were 80% more likely to watch a video to the very end when there was an option to select closed captions.
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4. Video gaming is gaining traction
In 2020, the social and casual gaming market was worth $78.92 billion and is expected to grow to $98.8 billion by 2024.
– 48% of consumers have participated in some form of video gaming activity.
– 29% of consumers say they’re more likely to use their free time to play a video game than watch a video.

5. Video accessibility laws are becoming stricter
– Expanded FCC enforcement and regulation is expected in 2021.
– Due to the Netflix lawsuit and higher public expectations for inclusive media, more companies will invest in ensuring their content is accessible and meets FCC guidelines.

6. Podcasts are gaining popularity
– Podcasts currently reach more than 100 million Americans every single month.
– Podcast advertising revenues are projected to grow 14.7% year-over-year to nearly $1billion in 2020.

With the gaming market and podcasts reaching a wider audience, media production and content companies should be thinking about how to diversify their offerings to satisfy a wider range of consumers. 2021 could provide opportunities for strategic partnerships to expand one’s suite of offerings. Furthermore, industry leaders need to think about ensuring their content is inclusive. Captions and audio descriptions are no longer being provided solely to meet the needs of those with hearing loss for example, but are becoming more widely expected by all viewers.