The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the whole economy influencing almost every industry. It has been two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland and now as most of the restrictions are gone, it is time to go back to a normal life. How has everything changed during this time and how did it influence life compared to what we had before? Without any doubts, the pandemic touched live and in-person entertainment because of its sensitive-to-environment nature. Cinemas and theatres were closed, concerts and festivals were cancelled and physical location-based entertainment suffered from the outbreak. So most businesses had to offer their services online. At the same time video and online games and online streaming platforms benefited from the lockdown situation. Thus, the internet has played a huge role during pandemic years.
Variety of online entertainment in Ireland
The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the entertainment industry. It has forced live events to go to virtual platforms and this trend is going to get bigger and bigger. Online gaming and betting on sport have increased during the pandemic. There were times when you only had to go to the casino to play roulette or slots. Now you can easily go to 1 euro deposit casinos and enjoy gambling at any time and in any place with internet connection. Online gambling in Ireland has always been a fast-growing industry even before the pandemic due to its thrilling experience, easy interface, security and big bonuses. Speaking about convenience, it’s not only about casinos. Through mobile devices you can watch any artist or any concert that you thought you would never see, from the front row. Or you can participate in an online chat with your favourite writer or a presentation of his latest book. Watching a film is now easy with signing up on new services, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu, for example. There is also an increase in listening to podcasts and audiobooks, watching live sports tournaments or online videos and playing video games. Few years ago we couldn’t even imagine what level of amusement we might get with a couple of clicks. Surprisingly, it turned out that online entertainment can be really exciting.
The rise of online entertainment popularity
Even though the pandemic had a crucial effect on peoples’ lives it brought the entertainment sector to a new stage. Online amusement and gaming through mobile apps and virtual platforms have gained a strong growth during this period. The lockdowns around the world have forced people to look for different ways of entertainment while sitting at home. And this factor of course resulted in using mobile devices more often than ever. Apart from online gaming there are some more growing areas such as video games, movies and virtual reality. Social distancing requirements urged an increase in online streaming services. The watching habits have changed and people found the value of online video platforms compared to watching a film in the cinema. The platforms give more mobility and flexibility in deciding what to watch, when and where. Moreover, streaming platforms offer a better service for customers by creating personalised offers and adapting the content. Now we can see the trends in the online entertainment industry due to COVID-19, which are:
- streaming services;
- increase of digital sales;
- user-generated content;
Some studies show that the audience tends to keep these new consumption habits now that the pandemic restrictions are shortened.
To sum up, online entertainment is already changing the way we live our lives. But the most important thing is that online entertainment gives a lot of opportunities to those people, who were not able to attend because of their location or finances. All in all, accessibility to entertainment has obviously changed for the better. And though we are almost back to normal life, some virtual events are here to stay.