Why the Entertainment and Social Media Industries are Converging Social media consolidation and a ramp-up of entertainment-tech companies are creating a new entertainment experience for consumers.

By Jared Polites

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As people began losing their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic, a growing need emerged for connectivity among peers. We saw Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media platform usage spike and become the dominant way of communication in a world where in-person working environments had largely come to a halt. Networking was no longer optional so many reached out to peers with increased urgency, trying to shore up connections to prepare for the potential fallout of another Covid outbreak and economic recession. In a post-pandemic world, this virtual connectivity trend may remain.

As people are becoming increasingly comfortable with asynchronous and hybrid work environments, the way we work and connect has changed. Many who were resistant to working from home and adopting emerging technologies have grown accustomed to them. But what about those who didn't have the option to continue working? The economic toll of the pandemic is expected to leave more than 140 million people out of work, and another 1.6 billion at risk of income loss, according to a study by LinkedIn.

The entertainment industry was left in a lurch as lockdowns occurred across the world. Audio-visual productions were halted. Movie theaters were closed. Events, premieres and entire marketing and distribution campaigns were postponed or canceled. These shutdowns in production were a stark contrast to the fact that while people stayed at home, they consumed more content than ever before. Netflix topped 200 million subscribers during the pandemic, proof that the entertainment industry was still just as valuable as ever. And Netflix wasn't alone — worldwide streaming subscriptions passed the one billion mark last year. And through it all, creatives didn't stop creating.

Related: Grom Social Has Blossomed Into an Impressive Social Media Platform

The content gold rush

A content gold rush is coming. It will hit in the latter half of 2021 and continue well into 2022. During the lockdown, people didn't stop creating — companies simply shut down production. Now, as studios begin to open back up, streaming platforms are set to release more than ever before. How were creatives able to stay on track and get their projects off the ground?

One platform emerged out of the need for connections between creatives and executives across the industry. Stage 32 sets a precedent for companies answering a unique challenge within their industry. Many creatives simply lack access to executives and don't know how to connect with peers, especially in a remote environment, but a specialized network makes this possible. Much like LinkedIn, platform users can connect with leaders and get unparalleled access to educational resources.

These resources and development opportunities are vital because they help creatives hone their craft while simultaneously connecting them to the creative community. It gives artists and entertainers a space to bring their projects through the pipeline, and it gives streaming platforms and network executives a view into the creative process.

Related: What Social Media Platform Works Best for Your Career

Leveling the playing field

Competition is fierce against broad-based social platforms, but with a focused niche market, they are giving their users something platforms like LinkedIn can't — a direct connection to top executives in the entertainment industry.

"Production companies are looking to us as a content marketplace, and we are vetting it for them," says Richard (RB) Botto, founder and CEO of Stage 32. "This way, we can help them scale at a broad level. We are partnering with larger streaming platforms to find writers, producers, and everything in-between."

Industry-focused social platforms have something to teach us — finding and focusing your niche isn't just a trend. It's a powerful tool that gives you a serious advantage. While larger social media channels dominate the market when it comes to the number of users, industry-specific platforms cut through the noise and offer a more tailored experience.

Wavy Line
Jared Polites is a marketer and writer focusing on tech, blockchain and entrepreneurship.

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