WE'RE HERE TO ENTERTAIN
Andrea Van Toch
The need for a release from reality has become extremely integral in a lot of individuals and families lives. People are turning to their screens no longer just for work or communication but for an in flux of their favourite shows, social content or simply just any form of entertainment. To think, Netflix started over 20 years ago with an idea that people would order their favourite movie online and just a short few days later the DVD would arrive in the mail and to see what it has grown into today is mind boggling. And it doesn’t stop there, it’s projected that video streaming services will account for 82% all internet traffic in 2022 … go Netflix! This knowledge that people are looking more towards this immediate stream of entertainment opens up the gate to the fact and opportunity that people are searching for it regardless of where it comes from.
This notion of constant eyes circling the internet for the next big thing also raises the bar in the quality that is being portrayed to the public. One could say that it’s an era of quantity over quality to continuously churn out never ending content … but we still like to hold onto the idea of being proud of the quality that we produce. People now not only watch but feel the need to comment, share and give their two cents into every detail of what they watch. The idea of one size fits all no longer exists. For example, a fun fact about this year’s front runner, The Queen’s Gambit, a show (primarily) about chess that was watched by 62 million people in its first 28 days of release. This is a show that was 30 years in the making due to a belief that people wouldn’t be interested in watching someone play chess for 7 episodes … not shocking. However, I’m very happy it finally made it through the pipeline. It’s a story that feeds authenticity and amplified looks into lives of those who are not perfect but still striving to succeed … yes in chess but we all have our own goals.
This was not only my umpteenth The Queen’s Gambit ramble, but there was a point to be made. As an industry, there is an ever growing demand for content that reflects those who are watching it.
People are no longer looking for the perfect cookie cutter view because we are now open to the fact that the world isn’t a cookie cutter place, it’s filled with scones, pies, croissants and any other shaped pastry you can think of. However, this representation also drives action. This content being shared with the world has a direct physical response, whether it be through behaviour or purchase. And I’m not just talking about the kid who watches Rambo then shows up to school the next day ready to duke it out on the playground. A perfect example, and yes, here comes another Queen’s Gambit fact, is that unit sales of chess grew by 87% in the US three weeks after it was released.
As you can see, we’re walking down a two-way street. Looking at this correlation, this rise in entertainment only increases the need for diversity in race, gender, age and size - all elements that are progressing to amplify the voices of those who have not previously been heard. The more the industry produces and provides holds us accountable to the stories being told and the characters who are telling them. Knowing that there is this glowing beacon upon the horizon with entertainment shining bright, it’s now our job to continue to take a deep dive into true and unique circumstances that reflect the world around us.