One Foot in the Metaverse: As Young Generations Embrace Gaming and Social Media, Can Streaming Video Keep Up?

67 20/06/2022

Representing media and entertainment behaviors in five different countries, Deloitte's 16th annual "Digital Media Trends" survey shows global audiences are increasingly frustrated managing the costs and content of streaming video on-demand services

NEW YORK, March 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ --

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Why this matters

Deloitte's 16th annual "Digital Media Trends" survey revealed that streaming video providers face greater pressure to attract and retain subscribers who have become savvier about chasing the content they want and managing the costs they pay. This is especially true with younger generations who have grown up with smartphones, social media and video games, and prefer entertainment experiences that are more social and interactive. For the youngest generations, user-generated social media streams and social video games may be meeting their needs better than streaming video.

 One Foot in the Metaverse: As Young Generations Embrace Gaming and Social Media, Can Streaming Video Keep Up?

Deloitte's survey revealed that to prepare for the next generation of digital entertainment, media and entertainment companies should be thinking hard about how people socialize around entertainment and how entertainment itself is becoming more personalized, interactive and immersive. The online survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers was conducted in December 2021 and January 2022 and was also fielded for the first time in mature digital entertainment markets, including the U.K. (n=1,002), Germany (n=1,002), Brazil (n=1,000) and Japan (n=1,000).

Maturing streaming video services (SVOD) face savvier subscribers

SVOD companies, while increasingly investing in premium content, have relied on lean-back-and-watch experiences to engage and retain subscribers. But as additional major media providers launch their own streaming video services, competition has heated up and the race to engage younger audiences is getting more intense. Audiences have many options and are empowered to move on and off services to get the most content at the least cost. SVOD companies are challenged to offer enough engaging content while incentivizing subscriber retention with ad-supported options, bundles and perks.

Key quote

"While streaming video on-demand business models look much the same as they did when they were created 15 years ago, social media and gaming companies have quickly evolved their offerings, leveraging technology, and capitalizing on behaviors. Social media is free and available anywhere, anytime, offering both passive and interactive experiences with endless streams of personalized content, without the cost of a subscription. And more people are interacting and socializing in game worlds that host millions of users, brands and franchises, and major non-gaming events. SVOD companies aren't just competing with each other for audiences, they are also competing with different, more social and immersive forms of entertainment."

– Jana Arbanas, vice chair, Deloitte LLP and U.S. telecom, media and entertainment sector leader

Social media: a better way to watch and shop?

On the most popular social media services, people engage with nearly infinite streams of trending social content, whether it's music, news, TV shows, sports and movies, shopping, or video games, all in one place without a subscription. Content feeds are personalized by algorithms that learn what users like and deliver relevant content, reinforced by social recommendations, influencers, targeted advertising, and trending topics. More social media is becoming shoppable, further leveraging user modeling and targeting. On social media, users don't need to chase content as they do with SVOD platforms. Content discovers them.

Key quote

"The web and all it offers is no longer a destination or a place we occasionally visit. It's become an integral part of our lives, and young generations are particularly adapted to the blurring of real and virtual experiences. For now, streaming video, social media and gaming are very successful but changing behaviors are pointing towards the next wave of digital entertainment. To evolve with younger generations on the way to the metaverse, global media companies should focus on younger generations and those generations that follow, by offering more social, interactive and immersive forms of entertainment."

– Kevin Westcott, vice chair, Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology, media and telecom leader

Younger generations may already be in a metaverse

Whether smartphone, console, or PC, gaming has become huge, and it's taking time away from other forms of entertainment. The youngest generations are especially attracted to gaming, ranking it as their favorite form of entertainment. Gaming also offers emotional value to many, helping them relax, stay connected to others, and express their self-identity through customizable avatars. Top gameworlds are hosting larger-than-life events: In the U.S., almost a quarter of gamers have attended a live in-game event in the past year. On the road to the metaverse, gaming may already be there.

For additional details on the findings, visit here. Connect with us on Twitter: @DeloitteTMT, @kwestcott911, @Jeff_Loucks; or on LinkedIn: @KevinWestcott, @JanaArbanas; #digitalmedia, #tmttrends.

About Deloitte

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's more than 345,000 people worldwide connect for impact at

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SOURCE Deloitte

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