The world of entertainment has changed drastically over the last decade, with the need to go to entertainment venues and events no longer a necessity in order to enjoy the experience. In India, the rapid adoption of mobile technology has propelled this trend, with Indians reportedly watching the most online video content in the world, averaging five hours and 16 minutes per day.
While mobiles are the primary device for this, it’s also been found that over 20 million people in India stream the video platform YouTube directly to their TV screens. Of course, this barely compares to the vast count of mobile video consumers in India, which clocked in with 365 million viewers from January 2020 to January 2021. With there still being great swathes of India’s population who currently aren’t connected, these trends will only increase, further putting the impetus on traditional entertainment to adapt to reach the modern audience.
Bringing the stadium experience live and on-demand
Few forms of entertainment in the world are quite as popular as sports and, in India, the IPL is the ultimate example of sport being infused with more traditionally-associated entertainment formats. It’s all cheering, chanting, music, bright colors, big names, and fireworks. It has superstars like Virat Kohli as well as big-money prizes. Premium providers saw the limitations of only showing the IPL on television, and thanks to adapting in a timely manner, the IPL now reaches even more viewers.
In 2021, an iCubesWire Survey found that 41 percent of Indians watch the T20 league on their phones, while 52 percent watch it on TV. The popularity of this tournament is huge, which is why Disney+ integrated its Hotstarplatform to reel in even more viewers to its other video entertainment products. In an attempt to blur the lines between physically attending and virtually live streaming, Disney+ Hotstar brought in several new features to make a more “stadium-like” experience, such as the Watch'N Play social feed, interactive emojis, and the ability to create duet videos in the app.
Classy entertainment mediums turning to an online offering
If there were two more high-society forms of entertainment that you would say are just as much about the venue and being there in person as they are the entertainment product, you’d likely say theaters and casinos. In line with changing audience tastes, the theatre industry of India has been working its way into streaming to audiences.
Now, streamed theater content is running hot, with it all starting when Lockdown Love was put on via the internet. The UK’s Belgrade Theater Coventry also offered up Satinder Chohan’splay Made in India for a special stream showing on Facebook and YouTube. It’s tough to overstate how integral video platforms have become to reaching audiences, but the trailer for All Is Well hitting 20 million views gives an idea.
The theater is conventionally a viewer experience, so its transition to streaming has been rather seamless. This is in stark difference to that of casino gaming, where users need to actively make plays for the entertainment product to work. With the application of live streaming, game control units, and touch-screen UI on apps, however, live roulette has truly evolved into a two-way streaming product. Players log in, place chips on the board between spins, and then see the real-time, physical results when the ball stops. Getting online and utilizing video-based products, live or otherwise, is now commonplace in India, with it now being the country with the most YouTube users at over 225 million.
Music evolves from just listening to experiencing the gigs
One of the first forms of traditional entertainment to be drastically changed by the internet was music. Suddenly, listening to, downloading, and compiling huge libraries of songs was simple and convenient. It certainly caused a stir in the global music industry, but now, live streaming is opening the door to much greater audiences. In India, we’ve seen several bands and artists turn to streaming in recent years. For example, Richard Andrew and Perfect Strangers’ guitarist DebjeetBasu crafted a venue specifically for bands to live stream performances through high-quality video and audio, with tickets sold via Skillbox.
A similar effort took place in Chennai in November 2020, when musicians went into closed malls, hotel rooms, and cinemas to live stream performances through Instagram. Now, the so-called Metaverse is being explored by tech-savvy Indians. Cryptic Entertainment organized the nation’s first concert in the virtual space, doing so on Somnium Space VR. The only aspect holding back this form of modern entertainment engagement is the cost of VR headsets. While the price point of VR headsets has come down since the market in India reached $3.4 million in 2016, you’re still looking at around ₹2,000 for a viable headset like those in the Irusurange.
To reach the modern audience, traditional forms of entertainment have increasingly needed to adapt to streaming and mobile-friendly technologies. The Indian audience is vast, and the best way to reach the most people is through ever more accessible live streaming platforms.