Despite everything, 2020 was not a bad year for the online leisure industry. The lockdown made everyone learn to appreciate the small wonders of home entertainment. We witnessed a rapid growth of streaming platforms, cloud gaming, and online gambling. All of these trends, as well as several others, will continue into 2021.
It is no surprise that mobile gambling is the biggest trend in the gambling industry – any player appreciates its convenience and accessibility. What is also cool about mobile gambling is that there are countless games out there that do not require downloads. You can play wherever you are with no strings attached (and with no burden on your phone memory).
Casino software developers are well-aware of the growing trend, so there are tons of new mobile games for gambling fans from the United Kingdom and other countries. Slots are especially popular among mobile gambling fans, but they are no longer the only option.
ESports is another growing trend in the online entertainment industry. There are several reasons for its steep growth. First, more and more governments are finally legalizing it, even in the countries with a conservative approach to gambling regulations. In the U.K., eSports is legal for players aged 18 and above.
Also, the development of technology makes eSports betting more convenient than ever. A study by Paysafe, an online payment platform, reveals that the emergence of 5G will boost sports betting, including eSports, further. Bettors are getting more comfortable with placing bets, but delays remain one of their top concerns. 5G will help solve the problem.
Consolidation of Online Streaming Platforms
During 2020, a.k.a. the year of home entertainment, the popularity of online streaming platforms hit an all-time high. With not that many leisure options available, everyone turned to streaming. In the U.K. alone, users have increased their monthly streaming spendings by £100 million during the lockdown. Talk about the industry that benefited from the pandemic.
New platforms are popping basically every season. While competition is never a bad thing, it is getting inconvenient and expensive for customers to pay for four to five services at the same time. Also, there are so many of them that it is sometimes hard to decide which ones you actually need.
Experts suggest that we should anticipate the consolidation of online streaming platforms. One expensive ‘subscription package’ is still cheaper (and easier to keep track of) than a ton of cheap ones. It is not yet clear what alliances to expect, though.
Thanks to the multiple-device accessibility and the social aspect of it, cloud gaming is the future of the gaming industry. Most gamers have at least heard of Google Stadia, Apple Arcade, and Microsoft xCloud. Soon, it will be impossible to find a gamer who has not tried them yet. In a way, the appeal of cloud gaming is similar to that of online streaming and mobile gambling – convenience and no need for obsolete physical carriers or downloads.
The growth of 5G matters as well. It is estimated that as much as one-fourth of 5G data traffic will be cloud gaming by 2022. Mobile operators will have to get ready to be able to respond to players’ growing needs.
Even More Podcasts
Finally, podcasts will remain the medium for self-education and entertainment. They have been insanely popular for a while. But recently, the focus has shifted from fun true crime and horror to informational and analytical podcasts that support listeners’ personal and professional growth.
Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Pandora, as well as non-podcast-specific Spotify and Audible, are projected to continue their upward movement. At the same time, video podcasts will keep getting more popular. They may not be as convenient as their audio counterparts, but not everyone is comfortable with no visuals, so there is a huge market for video podcasts as well.