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Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Entertainment

The global pandemic COVID-19 has impacted individual habits, lifestyles, social interactions, and global industries. Since people have more time on their hands while remaining safely at home, digital entertainment has become the go-to landscape for users everywhere. Across gaming, streaming services, movies, and music, particular trends begin to take form, some of which will be covered in this article.

Games industry

Developers and gamers from all over the world are helping the industry maintain through these uncertain times. According to Steam data on March 22, the number of concurrent users peaked at 22,670,252, comparing to the average of 14 million. The first record was set back in 2018 when PUBG took the market by storm. 

This data supports the assumption that an increasing numb er of users are also present on consoles (PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch) and mobile devices in this period.

Music industry

In contrast to the steady flow of gaming, the music industry is going through a more challenging period. The most jarring would be the cancellations of festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury.

Music stars also have to cancel or postpone their tours. For example, the Big Hit Entertainment Group has released a statement that left fans worldwide wondering whether BTS will be coming to their part of the world at all.

On the other end, as Quartz reported last Wednesday, music streaming is also experiencing fluctuations in numbers. There has been a noticeable drop in concurrent listeners Spotify had in Italy due to the pandemic, from 18.3 million users in February to 14.4 million amidst the spread that came in March. Nonetheless, many performers are shooting live concert streams via social media to give the necessary spark of optimism and hope for audiences from across the globe.

Streaming services

The movie industry also adjusts to today’s realities. Vox reports that many movie releases have been either postponed or left in a state of production limbo for the time being.

In terms of streaming, the only hindrance at the moment is video quality across Disney+, Netflix, Youtube, and HBO. They’ve decided to reduce video quality due to an increased number of simultaneous users. Considering the correlation between people staying home and demand in these services, the trade-off seems more than ok.

In these challenging times, it is essential to maintain social distancing to help contain the virus. Be vigilant and optimistic. Science is here to help humanity overcome this pandemic. Meanwhile, stay home, find a show to binge, a game to play, communicate, and (re)connect. 

Photo credit: The feature image has been taken by NeONBRAND.
Source: Steam / Glastonbury Festival / Billboard / Dan Kopf (Quartz) / Alissa Wilkinson (Vox)

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Eugen Caraion
Passionate about games and the game dev industry, writer and freestyle artist at heart.