The online entertainment business is certainly one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries today, having become an inextricable part of our lives over the last decade and establishing new benchmarks for the entire entertainment industry. As technology advances at a breakneck pace, leading organizations in the industry have pushed for new features and better experiences, resulting in a total transformation of how we are entertained online.
It’s apparent that the number of individuals trying to be amused online has increased dramatically in the last two years. People have never been more appreciative of the abundance of options that the digital world provides, whether through movies and TV programs, video games, esports, social media, or other sources.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly expedited the growth of online entertainment, which had already seen tremendous changes over the past few years. Because many people were unable to leave their homes due to a variety of lockdowns and restrictions at this time, a range of places, including movie theaters, libraries, sporting facilities, and even casinos, were closed.
Consequently, an increasing number of people have turned to streaming and online gaming alternatives, among other services and platforms, for entertainment, and this trend has continued to surge in 2022. In this piece, we present some of these online alternatives that have been shaking things up in the entertainment industry.
Podcasts predate the internet, and in the 1980s, these were referred to as ‘audio blogging.’ This was a way for anybody to share their experiences and opinions with others through audio recording, comparable to early blogs.
However, due to a lack of distribution outlets, it took almost two decades for this trend to take off. The idea of transferring these ‘audio blogs’ to an audio player as an MP3 file became popular with the introduction and widespread use of portable audio devices such as the iPod in the early 2000s.
Since 2005, over 700,000 podcasts have been created, with over 30 million episodes of content, the vast majority of which are available for free. However, about one-third of those episodes have been recorded after June 2018, indicating the rapid rise of podcasts. With the emergence of smartphones, now everyone has a device to play podcasts in their pocket.
With over 22 million weekly listeners each, iHeartRadio and NPR contend for the most popular podcast network today. Among the most popular podcasts accessible on these networks are Stuff You Should Know, Planet Money, and TED Radio Hour.
Live game shows
Live game shows, which are now one of the most popular trends in the iGaming business, have risen in popularity in recent months, becoming an enticing option for both casual and high roller players and being provided by practically every respectable iGaming website, including newly-launched Canadian platforms like STS Canada.
The advent of live streaming technologies allowed iGaming software providers to come with this new gaming experience, in which bettors can play games based on some of the many beloved TV game shows and enjoy them just as if they were on the set of Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune.
Professional hosts oversee and administer live game shows, which are streamed to players from studios and land-based casinos. It is also possible to engage with the dealer and other players, adding a social component to live game shows. Some of the offerings available include Monopoly Live, Dear or No Deal, Dream Catcher, and Cash or Crash, among others.
Self-care and mental health have been hot topics in the past months, particularly after the emotional burden brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, when our resilience was put to the test. However, a new gaming genre emerged to help us cope with all these adversities.
Self-care games were developed to provide us with relaxation exercises and meaningful experiences by utilizing approaches proved by psychological research to boost our mental health.
“With a renewed focus on mindfulness, relaxation and mental health in 2020 and 2021, this year is bound to bring us even more creative games intent on helping us unwind while staying grounded,” said Greg Hartrell, head of product management for Google Play, in an interview with Yahoo!Finance.
#SelfCare, produced by Tru Luv, a mobile game firm formed by Brie Code, who was responsible for designing the AI systems that controlled NPC behaviors in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series, is one of the greatest examples in this genre.
The purpose of the game is to just relax in a cozy bedroom surrounded by plants and a kitty. It’s essentially the technical equivalent of allowing oneself to stay in bed all day guilt-free. Players go through a number of wellness-related tasks in the game, such as positive word associations, contemplative actions like caressing the virtual cat, and even breathing exercises.