Three safe bets when it comes to consumer behaviour in 2020

The year ahead is bound to be interesting and there are some entertaining questions that need to be answered. Are smart speakers going to finally disrupt the radio industry in a meaningful way? Once new Apple device owners are done with their 12-month complimentary Apple TV+ trial, how many will convert to paid subscribers? And how many paid streaming services can the Canadian market sustain?

When it comes to predictions, here are a few thought-provoking, yet safe bets.

1. More Streaming Services Will Result In The Rise Of Piracy

With the multiplication of streaming services comes the multiplication of original content which people will want to consume without having to subscribe to every streaming service available, so piracy is bound to make a comeback.

This epiphenomenon is already apparent when looking at the most illegally downloaded tv shows of 2019 and will only escalate in a situation similar to that of HBO’s Game of Thrones in 2016 where customers justify piracy on the prohibitive cost of multi-service subscription. For streaming services solely relying on subscription, it could prove costly. It’s already been reported that Netflix may be losing nearly $200 million each month due to piracy.

2. The Gaming Livestream Bubble Will Burst or Reach a Plateau

Gaming and eSports, in particular, are a billion dollar industry in which the valuation of teams can reach hundreds of millions of dollars. The year-over-year increase in eSports revenue is impressive, but experts are being cautious and expect deaccelerated growth and a market correction to avoid a crash.

This isn’t to say that the gaming audience isn’t bound to keep on growing as the latest Game Awards, the brainchild of Canadian journalist Geoff Keighley, have demonstrated. The ceremony has become the most-watched awards show on the planet without the support of a traditional broadcasting partner.

3. More People Will Stream The Olympics Than Watch On TV

The Summer Olympics are the most-watched sporting event in the world with an estimated 85% of Canadians tuning in to watch one or more of the events, however a new trend has emerged in the last decade when it comes to how Canadian viewers are watching live events.

If you juxtapose these facts with the evolution in attitude towards sports in Canada, it will undoubtedly follow the trend of the 2016 Rio Summer games in which Canadian fans could watch every hour of every event live streamed as opposed to the number of dedicated coverage hours on traditional television.


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