Entertainment trends to watch in 2021

Every year we see new entertainment trends emerge, which often occur as new technologies are released onto the market.

This year saw the rise of video based social channels, including content sharing platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, as well as communication apps such as Houseparty. Cloud gaming also became more mainstream and we had the recent release of both the PlayStation 5 and the new Xbox Series X. 

People also enjoyed more forms of audio entertainment, with both the number of podcasts listeners and podcast creators seeing a steady increase. In the US, there are now 103 million users listening to podcasts on at least a monthly basis.

In 2021, we can expect a number of exciting new trends, particularly within gaming and digital entertainment markets. 

Here are some of the top trends in entertainment we can anticipate next year:

Online gambling will expand further

The online casino market is already huge, with an estimated 59 billion US dollars being generated from it this year. Online casinos give players the opportunity to play games of online blackjack, poker, slots and roulette (to name a few) from the comfort of their own home or while out and about.

In recent years, smartphones with high speed internet connections, great processing powers and vibrant graphics have become more accessible to the majority of people. Alongside this, there has been a large increase in the number of online casino apps and online casino games for players to enjoy. Casino games with exciting new themes and features are being released all the time, as the market gets more competitive and operators try even harder to attract and maintain players. 

With easy access to online casinos and a growing range of games to choose from, it is highly likely that casino entertainment will continue to trend in 2021.

More streaming platforms and better content selection

A number of new streaming services came out in 2020, including Apple TV+, the Disney blockbuster platform Disney + and short video streamer Quibi. This year has also seen the release of HBO Max, a service that combines content from HBO, Warner Brothers and AT&T networks. 

While streaming services such as Netflix became popular for showing reruns of many classic television series like Friends and Grey’s Anatomy, in 2021 we can expect there to be more releases of original material created by the services themselves. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime have released content from their own high budget productions in recent years, with some very profitable results.

The supernatural horror series The Haunting of Hill House did extremely well on Netflix, as did drama series You and psychological thriller Mindhunter. On Amazon, series such as the action title Jack Ryan and fantasy show Good Omens were well received by audiences. There was also the dystopian fiction The Handmaid’s Tale that was enjoyed on millions of Hulu viewers around the world.

In 2021, people will continue to choose more cosy nights in watching their streaming service of choice rather than going out. Many people now subscribe to multiple services to enjoy that they do not miss out on the best original releases on each platform.

eSports tournaments will be even bigger

The eSports market is another that is fast growing within the entertainment industry. It has been estimated that over $1 billion dollars will be generated this year by eSports. 

Huge tournaments are now held each year for the most dedicated and talented players of these games. With interest in watching and participating in these events on the rise, it is likely that prize funds and audience numbers will see a big boost next year.

The world’s largest prize pool for an eSports tournament was for the Dota 2 International event, which handed out over $20 million dollars in prize money. Another popular tournament enjoyed by players around the world is the League of Legends World Championship. Each year millions of eSports enthusiasts tune in to watch these games play out. 

In 2021, we may see even bigger prize pools, higher audience numbers and increased interest in this type of entertainment as it continues to grow.

More augmented reality game releases

We all remember when augmented reality game Pokémon Go was released back in 2016. Pokémon fans, both young and old, from around the world downloaded the game to their mobiles and headed out to catch Pokémon. The AR technology makes the characters appear as if they are in a real-world location and uses GPS to track where players are on the map. Pokémon Go was so popular that government officials and news outlets were tasked with warning players not to go onto private land in search of Pokémon and to be aware of their surroundings as players got themselves into accidents.

Since then there have been several other AR games released. As this tech becomes more mainstream, we can expect a few new games to enter the market in 2021.