Nobody would have ever imagined that the spread of a virus, which is now a global health pandemic, could have such grave effects across businesses and industries worldwide. The current state of affairs caused by the pandemic has changed the dynamics of many industries and the entertainment industry is amongst those that have been badly affected. Talented and prominent actor from Australia, Ahmad Mansour, shares his views on the impact of Covid-19 on the entertainment industry.
The worldwide entertainment sector includes different entertainment venues like online video streaming, theatrical productions, live shows, etc. Ahmad says that the film industry, in particular, is especially vulnerable to the pandemic as both the production of the projects and the consumption of its output require numerous people together in small spaces. He explains that before the pandemic, the industry saw a great surge in growth with increased adoption of online video streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. However, the key factors today that affect the industry after the outbreak of the virus include the shutdown of theatrical releases and stalled shootings of film or TV projects due to many factors like social distancing and the norms of different countries for the pandemic.
Ahmad Mansour points out that the pandemic has brought major disruptions to the media and the entertainment space. He says that people have seen a shift in media consumption. People are spending more time at home, which leads to more entertainment hours to be filled. Hence, at-home entertainment providers are trying to engage users more. The trained actor who has shown excellence as a TV and radio presenter highlights that amidst all of this, there has been a significant revenue decline. Though, the consumption is up; the revenue is down as the advertising spent that the industry relies on heavily is seeing major contraction, and also all other segments of the sector are at a stop.
The Channel Nines “Underbelly” actor wants us to also notice that there have been content supply shortages, where many productions are still not working and people are consuming more, which is putting pressure on content libraries and threatening shortages. Ahmad Mansour who has to his credit incredible film work in the UAE and Germany and with top directors like Colin Fletcher and Tony Tisle, also points out that amidst the effects of the pandemic, people started having a positive customer sentiment towards print media.
There has been a surge in TV viewership, especially favorable to OTT platforms. This time period also saw the strengthening of the gaming sector and expansion for eSports, explains Ahmad. On one hand, many people have shown more hunger for at-home entertainment, on the other hand, others are also craving to go out and enjoy films at theatres. However, many production houses have already started work even with a smaller crew, making sure all Covid measures are taken care of, and hope to revive the industry as soon as possible with many new projects.