Hitting it big in the entertainment industry is difficult for entrepreneurs. First, sectors like TV, film, and music are already controlled by successful and multichannel groups, from production companies to record labels. Second, it’s a high-risk industry with a massive overhead for startups.
Consider Quibi, one of the biggest startups in 2020 that promised to deliver on shortened video entertainment (think: Netflix in twenty-minute segments). Despite $1.75 billion in investment, the project folded within a year, leaving only $350 million to be parceled out to backers after the fact.
Small-scale projects often face similar difficulties in starting up. Unlike other business ventures, such as those related to transportation, health, or food services, the entertainment sector doesn’t offer consumers anything necessary for day-to-day life.
Instead, it looks to scratch a certain itch after a long day, requiring minimal effort on the part of the consumer after they’ve paid for a service, subscription, or product. No matter which sector an entrepreneur is looking to innovate in, there are four key ways they should seek to empower their ideal customer.
Any sound businessperson should look to simplify their product or service. However, this is doubly important for those working in entertainment. Remember—it’s not necessary, which means any extra time spent learning how to use a service may be a deterrent for customers.
For this reason, simplifying the process on all fronts is incredibly important. Consider the sports betting industry, for example. In 2020, the global industry was worth $203 billion, with a handful of companies competing to offer the most competitive deals and platforms.
Despite the industry’s popularity, newcomers will have to spend time learning the ropes. To simplify the process, users can check a parlay calculator, which projects winnings without requiring the punter to do the math. Some sportsbooks even offer betting academies for beginners, which simplifies the process of betting for the first time.
All entrepreneurs are looking for a way to inspire loyalty in their customer base. This is one of the most fundamental aspects of business, and it is extremely important for the entertainment sector as it often creates new revenue opportunities, and allows groups to track consumer behavior.
Whether opting for a points-based, tiered, or value loyalty program, be sure to keep an eye on top competitors. Most rewards programs are designed to attract new customers and onboard them, but a lean rewards program is based on diversity.
The market is constantly evolving. Consider the film industry. Ten years ago, most production companies made hundreds of millions via live releases in cinemas. Today, consumers expect direct access to new releases via subscription services to companies like Hulu and Netflix.
In turn, these groups have kickstarted their own production companies; Netflix is worth $1.5 billion as of 2021, while Hulu pulled in $4.4 billion in 2020 alone (attracting the attention of Disney).Though this is a big-money example of innovation, it highlights how an open market can evolve in unpredictable ways.
Groups looking to empower their consumers should consider the future of their respective industry and make every effort to seamlessly onboard their ideal customer into the next phase of business. Both Hulu and Netflix are currently looking to create an unforgettable VR experience (to little avail, so far).
Here’s where entrepreneurs can tailor the consumer experience. First, it’s pivotal that companies ask for permission to collect data and comply with all relevant laws in a given region. Many consumers will allow data collection so long as it’s relevant to the service or product they’re interested in.
Spotify has one of the cleanest data collection applications for its users. Listeners who pay the monthly subscription fee of $9.99 have access to a ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist. This playlist is curated by Spotify’s algorithms, which track listener patterns to identify new songs or artists the user will be interested in.
Data is collected, but is applied in a highly relevant way that adds to the user’s overall experience and enjoyment of the service.