As vaccine programs catch the last stragglers and a sense of normalcy returns to the world, we see consumers everywhere rolling up their sleeves and heading back to work. This means less time spent consuming streaming media from the lockdown couch, and more time with a depth of different entertainment choices at our fingertips. Is this splintering of focus from one dominant entertainment tool to a variety the calamity some predict? We asked our resident entertainment attorney, Brandon Blake, to weigh in on the matter.

Not a new argument

While the circumstances created by the lockdowns of 2020 were, perhaps, some of the most unique many of us have faced in our entertainment-consumption lives, the argument for fragmented media is hardly novel. Who can’t hum a few bars of ‘Video killed the Radio Star’, after all? Similar fears we raised in the entertainment industry when widespread in-home TV started muscling radio out of business.

What is novel, however, is what’s been named the ‘attention recession’. Pop culture frenzy has peaked, and appears to be in a waning stage. Many have closed social media accounts and actively scorn pop culture fads. Where once staple TV programs viewed from one of maybe 3 channels, or nightly news that had little diversity, could provide unity of conversation around the water cooler, now you’re lucky if the other person consumes mainstream media at all, let alone the same as you choose. Common ground in entertainment choices is tough to find.

Shrinking figures promote gloom

The muttering is not entirely in vain. We’ve seen cable viewers slide 23% in the second quarter of 2021 despite pandemic growth. Netflix, widely seen as the king of streamers, has also seen slower growth. The global Box Office is still a shambles, and it’s suggested that 40% fewer movies will flow from Hollywood this year.

Likewise, willing audiences find themselves confused by mixed messaging from the bigger studios and companies? Theatrical windows vary literally film-by-film. Some go immediately to streaming and others don’t. Piracy continues to impact the industry. And there’s diversifying growth, too. Podcasts have sold the joys of radio chat to a new generation. Social networks continue to pull people’s attention. Books have had a pandemic resurgence.

It’s reflected across declining subscriber numbers, a decline many may not even realize they are participating in. Yet when we chat about media we enjoy, it’s rare to find people with overlapping tastes to ours. Only teens remain faithfully ‘addicted’ to media and relatively homogenous in their tastes, perhaps powered by the school peer group pressure. Even there, however, gaming and game-streaming services like Twitch make new stars and pull attention away from traditional entertainment media.

A challenge, not a lament

So yes, overall it’s not unreasonable to remark on current entertainment options as a ‘fragmented media’. It’s a fragmentation born both from the global return to normal as well as the recent huge jumps made in entertainment diversity and entertainment types to consume. Entertainment no longer unifies by default, and the hype is not as easy to come by. The error, perhaps, is seeing this as something that heralds gloom, rather than merely a challenge to the industry to adapt accordingly.

The genie is rarely if ever, put back in the bottle. The challenge to producers and studios alike is to work on new and novel ways to catch that attention and hype, to use their entertainment content as a unifying force people cannot bear to miss, instead of hoping a lack of options will create it de facto.

Brandon prefers to see this as a challenge to keep creating interesting, entertaining media that stands out in a fragmented field. While it needs new adaptation to new challenges, what would life be without some challenges, anyway? Film and TV have long dazzled and drawn audiences, and they will not lose that shine because of a little competition in the hands of creative, dedicated content creators, either.

Author's Bio: 

Hi, I have written many articles on entertainment, law and more.
Brandon Blake is a famous entertainment lawyer managing partner at Blake & Wang P.A. The entertainment attorney is operating in all states of USA.

I hope this article will be helpful for you.