The Point: COVID has made home entertainment more important than ever. And with so many choices, people want your help planning the perfect night in.
Those of us in the industry know that entertainment is more than just a welcome distraction. And I can’t remember a time when our desire to be inspired was stronger than it is now.
Entertainment in the home was already booming pre-pandemic, as media companies were making it easier for people to watch, listen and play. The number of online video subscriptions jumped 28% globally in 2019 alone.1 Shelter-in-place restrictions only sped up this growth. People 25-54 are streaming nearly 100% more content today compared with a year ago.2
We’re seeing similar patterns on Pinterest. Specific searches for movies and TV shows to watch more than doubled on Pinterest in the weeks following shelter-in-place.3 With this new way of life, the old ways of marketing don’t always apply.
To help make better sense of it all, we dug into Pinterest data to understand what’s happening in entertainment. Here are four of the biggest trends, along with tips for how entertainment marketers can respond to them.
The home is now a multiplex
With the entire family under one roof all day, every day, people are splitting up to watch live programming or streaming on-demand in every corner of the house. After shelter-in-place guidelines took hold, searches for entertainment ideas have spikes in every genre.
Parents are looking for ways to keep kids busy, with searches for “family movies” up 145%.4 Gen Z Pinners are seeking variety: We’re seeing similar increases in “reality TV,” “romantic comedy” and “action movies.”5 Sports fans on Pinterest are filling the live-event gap by searching star athletes from the NFL draft and content about Michael Jordan following the release of "The Last Dance."6
Tip: Curate custom content line-ups
Make it easy for people to find the entertainment they’re looking for. Bundle cross-genre recommendations for households that include ideas for parents, teens and kids. For people searching specific genres, put together some “Best of” or “Top 10” lists of recommendations.
Movie night becomes a major event
People are looking for ways to elevate the ordinary, whether it’s parents searching for “family movie night ideas” (+794%) or couples planning a “movie date night at home” (+145%).7 Beyond cozying up on the couch, people are going glam, searching for “movie theater party” (+461%) and even taking it outside with “backyard movie nights” (+743%).7
Tip: Help people plan an event to remember
Share tips for making movie night special. Get creative about ways people can take it up a notch—painting a red carpet in the lawn for outdoor movie night, serving gourmet popcorn, or setting up an ice-cream or candy bar in the family room with all the trimmings.
Golden oldies are making a comeback
Nostalgia TV is like comfort food. Familiar movies, series and characters give us something to hold onto, and are topping “most-watched” lists right now. Searches for “iconic movies” are up (644% year over year), as is engagement with longtime fan favorites like The Office and Seinfeld.8
Tip: Highlight classic titles from your library
Encourage longtime fans to re-watch their favorites and new viewers to discover them. It may be the inspiration that encourages someone to tune in or sign up.
Fans are looking to connect
Fandom is more important than ever. With in-person concerts, sporting events and Comic-Con-type conventions on hold or canceled, people are going online to express themselves and connect over shared interests. We’ve seen a 45% jump over the prior year in searches for fan art and cosplay ideas.8
More musicians are trying in-home concerts to stay connected with their fans
Tip: Let fans take center stage
Create opportunities for fans to engage in a more direct and personal way with your brand, titles and talent. Make it easy for musicians to hold virtual concerts in their living rooms. Facilitate live chats to help celebrities share professional projects and social causes with fans.
Even as stay-at-home guidelines begin to relax, many of the new ways we have found to engage with entertainment content will stick. And so will the relationships we develop with the brands that brought us inspiration and comfort during the pandemic.
As I see it, there’s never been a better time for entertainment brands to rise to the occasion.