COVID-19 challenged many of our convictions. Speaking pragmatically, however, it also altered irreparably much of our consumption patterns on a global scale.

Who are the big winners? A recent study reveals the innovative services we cannot seem to resist.

Outdoor Consumption Naturally Shrinking

In a recently published in-depth industry survey, KPMG’s India office explores the so-called “Year Off Script” which came along with COVID-19. While many physical goods and traditional services are experiencing an anticipated dip in performance, many of those will bounce back in the mid-term: financial services, e-commerce, even real estate and mobility/automotive industries will adapt and find a way to reach their customers. Their future is a matter of flexible logistics, new communication channels and innovative advertisement content which is geared to new consumption habits.

Those same habits are the focus of KPMG India’s Media and Entertainment Report 2020, emphasising the sharp decline which “outdoor consumption” models cannot currently avoid – cinema, events, theme parks, to name a few. Social (or rather spatial) distancing norms exert less influence on consumer products but much more on content and services.

Streaming, OTT and Online Gaming – the Big Winners

In the current business climate and conditions, subscription revenues are the ones which pull forward the Media and Entertainment sector, the one namely responsible for conveying advertisement messages as well. Content centered sub-segments such as Over-the-Top (OTT) digital media and online gaming are rising in importance as customers rethink their priorities. Ease of access and quality content become the cornerstones of platforms that are able to stand out.

Video sharing and streaming giant YouTube enjoys traditionally significant penetration in India, even among internet users above 35. However, reports indicate that recently it has grown further, over 20.5 percent in subscription numbers, hitting 300 billion views in Q1 2020 alone, an increase of 13% compared to Q4 2019.

As Netflix and Disney+ position themselves along the quality original content plane, they still reveal lower total adhesion of subscribers but growing steadily nevertheless. Online and mobile gaming had already posted considerable growth in 2019, yet the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) claims it has further grown by 12 percent during spring lockdown.

Doubtlessly, the new normalcy makes consumers reach for the easy and comfortable way to bring contents and experiences to their home, allowing them to manage better work and family time. As media and entertainment become a defining stay-at-home factor, businesses and advertisers begin to take notice of leading verticals and their competitive advantages.

New Habits Make the Best of Online Entertainment

Considering that over 90 percent of video content is viewed on mobile devices, we can definitely speak of a new consumption paradigm. India has the largest young mobile internet user base which stimulated growing demand for social gaming and on-demand content even before the current pandemic had its say.

A prime example of typical searches include a list of the best online casinos, the top e-Sports and Fantasy leagues or the most popular social card games available online for a night with friends in a faraway city. These entertainment niches have reported a stably growing user count, as well as an increase in data volume directed towards online gaming. A study by Mindshare India and the video analytics platform Vidooly confirms the growth in gaming viewership by 23% during lockdown.

New Consumption Trends Here to Stay

What social gaming, digital and OTT media have gained over the YTD is an indication of where consumption trends are heading and not merely a fleeting surge of interest. A combination of the above content platforms is the only one estimated to grow in 2021 by KPMG in the same survey, continuing into 2022 as well.

Whether the current situation persists or not, indoor entertainment will outpace out-of-home media and events – those will need a lengthier recovery timeframe. What we now call the “new normal” may just be channeled by AI and machine learning platforms to bring us more targeted content. However, the source of such demand lays with the new consciousness of consumers in India and across the globe alike.