Curtain up! User experience takes centre stage!
Making businesses “fan”-centric requires functional transformation.
“The world is a dangerous place, Elliot. Not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
Fans of NBCUniversal’s Mr. Robot, a dystopian video series about hacker culture on the USA Network, will recognize this chilling call to action from Mr. Robot himself, played by Christian Slater. Decisive action is precisely what NBCUniversal took to forge a passionate following of tech-savvy millennial viewers for this show. It is now moving into its third season and has helped redefine the USA Network — once known for lighter, “blue-sky” content — as a network with an edgier, more complex sensibility.
To promote Mr. Robot, NBCUniversal recognized it needed a new playbook for audience development that went well beyond linear TV. The team created original content for Facebook Live, Reddit, Snapchat, YouTube, and Twitch, Amazon’s platform for gamers. The network also developed a virtual reality simulcast for San Diego Comic-Con 2016, and created a Mr. Robot experience in a Manhattan storefront where visitors could “hack” an Evil Corp ATM machine. What did these efforts have in common? They all encouraged Mr. Robot viewers to stay connected with storylines and characters in the environments where viewers desired that emotional and social connectivity. These experiences thus turned viewers into fans, and fans into zealots.
An entertainment and media (E&M) offering today simply cannot thrive without the economic, social, and emotional power of fans. Devoted followers are as critical to feature films, video games, and sports teams as they are to Mr. Robot. Premium content is expensive, and getting more so. Distribution is a brutal battle for shelf space where only brands that are “most wanted” can hope to win. The steady march of digital technology has ushered in a direct-to-consumer environment characterized by greater choice and user control. There is simply too much competition for users to allow E&M businesses to survive on experiences that cater to casual “eyeballs” or infrequent users.
Global entertainment & media outlook 2017-2021
For 18 years, PwC’s global entertainment & media outlook has been providing expert commentary and global findings centred on the shifts in advertising and consumer spending. Our comprehensive five-year forecast focuses on trends that we’ve identified across 17 segments and 54 countries.