The digital transformation has brought many changes to the entertainment industry. With new technologies such as virtual reality and multi-channel experiences, new possibilities arise almost by the second. From the type of content that is created to how and by whom it is created and consumed – this shift has allowed innovative disruptors to join the party and compete with traditional outlets. Worldwide revenue in the entertainment & media industry is projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% over the next five years, reaching 1.7 trillion Euro in 2020. To identify the innovation areas that will significantly impact the industry in the near future, our Innovation Intelligence & Startup Scouting arm, StartUs Insights, analyzed 800+ cutting-edge startups. Here’s what’s next for the entertainment industry:

Virtual Reality (VR)

Unsurprisingly, the entertainment industry is one of the biggest advocates of virtual reality with games and films being the main focus areas. Hyped as the next big thing in the entertainment industry, the influence of virtual reality progresses further. As VR creates an artificial environment that is displayed in a way a user accepts it as a real environment, storytelling elevates to the next level, allowing consumers to discover adventures previously out of reach.

Nomadic is one example of a startup working on the next generation out-of-home entertainment. The company creates tactile VR adventures for neighborhoods everywhere and takes care of creative development to onsite deployment, creative storytelling, and modular physical form factors. Specialties include game development and animation, motion tracking technology, physical design as well as manufacturing and retail operations and strategy.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Augmented Reality (AR)

Though augmented reality has not yet reached the masses, its impact on the entertainment industry will already be perceptible in 2018. The live view of a real-world environment whose details are augmented by sensory input like sound, video, graphics or even GPS data brings extraordinary opportunities to the gaming and movie/TV industries, among others. Moreover, AR is not limited to the means of entertainment as it is predicted to become part of consumers’ everyday lives through enriching environments using computer-generated or extracted real-world data.

Implemented in gaming, augmented reality opens many doors. One of those is opened by Ukrainian startup WeAR Studios. The company creates full cycle AR development with the purpose to assist computer game lovers to go beyond their imaginations and turn any space into a game portal – bringing games into a physical space.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Influencing many industries, artificial intelligence proves to be a powerful tool in the entertainment industry as well. Created through the simulation of human intelligence processes, an AI system called Flow Machines created a pop song titled “Daddy’s Car”, a derivative of a Beatles tune, in 2016. Furthermore, AI has already been used to create effective film plot points as well as movie trailers based on box office performance and market research – within just 24 hours. This type of computer-human collaboration is bound to progress further, increasing the likelihood of consumers to watch or listen to content.

Belgian ScriptBook uses artificial intelligence to quantify story-parameters into a predictive model that enables stakeholders in the film business to avoid box office flops. The startup’s solution Script2Screen analyzed screenplays and delivers an objective assessment of a script’s commercial and critical success.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Curated Content

Along with the digital revolution, the entertainment industry has seen a disruptive shift in regards to content – including the massive spike in overall content that is available. While just a few years ago companies would spend thousands of euro to buy, integrate and use specialist production-ready systems, in 2018 consumers are able to create, upload and curate their own content in just a few clicks. Algorithms developed to curate personalized, highly interesting and highly entertaining content will significantly alter this landscape in the near future.

Curata employs machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and artificial intelligence to power two software platforms, Curata Content Curation Software (Curata CCS) and Curata Content Marketing Platform (Curata CMP). The startup’s software allows companies to discover content via their self-learning engine, organize and contextualize as well as publish and promote it across blogs, social channels, and newsletters.

Curated Content

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

3D/4D

Though 3D has not yet reached the homes of the masses, its current popularity in movies and games suggests that it will find its way into consumers’ homes over the next years. 3D technology has already successfully entered cinemas around the globe, preparing audiences for the next frontier in digital entertainment: 4D. Taking the technology further grants viewers the entrance into happenings as if they were there themselves, becoming part of the world that is appearing in front of them.

VisiSonics leverages scientific discovery to add a third dimension to the sound consumers hear electronically, bringing 3D sound to gaming, virtual reality, and entertainment (movies and music) platforms. In addition, through its RealSpace™ Audio Panoramic Camera the startup can capture, measure, analyze, and reproduce natural, fully dimensional sound in any environment.

3D/4D

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Gesture Control

The competence to recognize and interpret human movements allows for the interaction and control of a computer system without physical contact. Synchronizing the interaction of human and machine, gesture control is capable of blending of dance, music, and motion tracking among others. Due to the lack of intermediate devices, the term natural user interface (NUI) is increasingly used to describe such systems. Gesture control is already used to generate digital displays and electronic music and, in the coming years, will also equip objects to transform into entertainment systems using sensors (think infotainment in cars, for example).

London-based FlickTek delivers solutions to enhance user experience through seamless technology interaction. With a background in biomedicine and engineering, the startup creates technology capable of detecting and interpreting human bio-physiological signals to control electronic devices such as smartphones or computers.

Gesture Control

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Drones

Reaching locations and heights human cameramen cannot reach, drones have already proven their advantages in the entertainment industry. Rather than using helicopters or cranes, filmmakers are equipped to capture breathtaking views and approach scenes from a more intimate manner by using drones. Moreover, the unmanned aircrafts can be employed in manifold application areas, such as events. Undoubtedly, the footage retrieved by drones has incredible promotional value but there are more possibilities for change. One innovative approach is to equip drones with LEDs and use them as flying billboards, reaching far more people than a traditional billboard.

German Skynamic believes that “Close Range Aerial Filming” will play a key role in how to use camera drones in the future. Their team of skilled pilots is experienced in flying cinema lenses such as Standard Primes, Ultra Primes, Highspeed Primes, or Anamorphic Kowa. While also providing VR 360° rigs, the startup offers live streaming via SDI directly to the broadcasting van to capture unique images that tell a story.

Drones

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Live Streaming

With live streaming options available on all major social networks it is one of the main contributors to the growth of entertainment-related marketing. Faster networks and improved screen resolutions in combination with live streaming grant viewers to experience happenings in a lifelike manner. Whether it is a concert, a football match or a multiplayer game, people benefit from many forms of digital entertainment ultimately becoming participants rather than viewers. As the demand for live streaming services will continue to rise over the next years, entertainment companies need to take its profound impact on the industry into consideration.

DaCast offers one opportunity to do so. The live stream hosting platform is designed with a Streaming-as-a-Service approach and provides a flexible, pay-as-you-go solution to content owners and broadcasters. The startup claims to generate revenue in just 20 minutes – giving entertainment companies a new way to compete in this market.

Live Streaming

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

On-Demand

Subscription Video On Demand, or SVOD, currently is experiencing enormous popularity among audiences due to its ability to meet consumers’ content needs. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu among others have already made their mark in everyday life and will continue their impact. Overtaking TV and film, SVOD proposes a way to add a premium distribution platform to existing services and distribution partners. As a result of the rising demand, more broadcasters and content creators are looking to create their own direct-to-consumer services, delivering high-quality digital content under a paid subscription.

Vodworks provides over the top (OTT) solutions to the media industry. Having created the so-called VidScape technology, the startup offers a customizable video and data management platform, multiscreen apps as well as content discovery and recommendation for online TV and global video distribution.

On-Demand

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

In addition to the innovation areas we outlined, wearable gaming, content connectivity and voice recognition, among others, proof that the entertainment industry is ripe for disruption. As these emerging technologies pose immense opportunities, it is vital for entertainment companies to act now, seize these opportunities, and collaborate with cutting-edge startups to gain a lasting competitive advantage. StartUs Insights facilitates this process by cutting through the noise and providing actionable intelligence on startup driven innovation and technologies.


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Author Chris Madu|Design Luca Nagy|Executive Editor Susi Wallner|Copy Editor David R. Prasser, Iryna Bursuk|Web Development Reza Rastgoo