How the COVID-19 Crisis Has Affected the Online Movie Industry

COVID-19 took a toll on every facet of the world economy. No one could have ever speculated the magnitude of this unprecedented health crisis. The drastic impact of the pandemic left no industry safe, including the entertainment industry and media world. 

Never before heard of changes happened in the industry and extraordinary measures came into existence. Film apps saw a boost while major films like Mulan and others reached audiences through streaming platforms. Many mega movies even went on hold indefinitely and are still waiting behind the curtains for the pandemic to cease and life to return to completely normal. 

With theatres closing down across the world and film festivals canceling, streaming platforms and film apps have played a crucial role in keeping the entertainment industry and media somewhat afloat. As the pandemic continues to rage, streaming platforms see a surge in memberships, gaining millions of subscribers. 

But the surge in the popularity of the online movie industry has had an adverse effect on quality. Streaming services and certain film apps have had to limit picture quality as a means of some relief for broadband networks. 

The New Normal in the Online Movie Industry

The pandemic seems to be going nowhere hence; it is going to take long for the movie industry to return to normal. By the time the world recovers from Coronavirus, production slowly begins, and theatres gradually open to total capacity, a lot of time will have gone by.

This is why online streaming is going to be the new normal, and entertainment will refer to the online movie industry for a while. The pandemic’s direct impact has been consuming a more comprehensive array of online content by viewers. People are streaming more content, with more podcasts and music constantly running through their days as they work remotely. 

Due to the pandemic and the surge in demand for diverse content, we have also seen the online movie industry widening its cultural and international content selection. We’re also seeing a trend of international movies going mainstream in the online entertainment world. 

A Wider Audience

Due to the rising demand for diverse content, the online movie industry is also facing the challenge of providing more localized content than ever before. For this reason, dubbing and subtitling are gaining a boost, as these two processes make content accessible for wider audiences. This way, films, and even TV shows are earning more appreciation because larger audiences from around the world can view them. 

The online movie industry has realized the importance of localization, making concerted and remarkable efforts to provide quality dubbed content and subtitles. The industry has established a sound and well-defined and sound process in place for content localization. Where there are loopholes in such methods, the industry is looking for innovative ways to fix them and make streaming more seamless. 

Animation from Home

It is true that the majority of the blockbuster films had no choice but to halt productions for the better part of 2020. However, several other roles within the film industry made it online comfortably, such as animation. 

Animation is one area of the movie industry that fits into a virtual operational structure. This segment is another boost the online movie industry received from the pandemic. Since the pandemic proved it was powerless to shut down the industry’s animation sector, the online industry soon created a world of opportunities. 

Therefore, the near future of film and TV promise lots more animation than ever before. Giving testimony to this promise, Jen Rudin’s casting director for Disney says, “Animation is one thing the entertainment people can do even at home.”

Despite the positive boost this industry segment has received during the pandemic, the pandemic has affected it in specific ways too. Let’s take a look at those below:

Issues that the Online Movie Industry Might Face

  • Due to the slow television and movie production, there may be delays in release dates. 
  • While Upfronts are going digital, the untested format might be negatively impacting ad sales.
  • Social distancing is certainly giving digital media a boost, along with downloads and streaming, etc. But the unexpected surge might not have given sufficient time to the industry to come up with discoverable formats for serving the digital content. 
  • The online industry might not have a crisis response plan ready to limit any financial impact from disrupted release dates. 
  • The online industry might not have backup plans to meet the resurgent demands. 
  • The online industry is the face of hundreds of remote workers. The pandemic may cause the local tax and New State implications to surge for the employees working remotely. 
  • Because the pandemic must have caused many media professionals to become newly remote employees, they may not access information on time. Their tax compliance operations could lag as a result. This could affect forecasts due to changes in income statements, such as short-term losses.

Final Thoughts

The pandemic caused acceleration for two pre-existing trends: more people watching movies from home and more media distributors and studios turning to online services for their content. As a result, online film and the many film apps have gotten a massive boost.

While the unexpected surge may have brought particular challenges of its own for this industry, yet the future seems promising. This industry’s future seems bright, too, with tons more animation and distributors establishing direct-to-consumer streaming services.

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The collective team of Parlé Magazine. Twitter: @parlemag

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