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Media and content markets showcase the trends in how retailers should engage consumers

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The rapid growth in digital subscriptions, cross-channel and multi-device delivery, as well as the increasing use of smart devices across the media, gaming, music and TV sectors should be front and centre for retailers looking at how to engage consumers in the months ahead.

So finds the latest RetailX Media Sector report, which has assessed how the gaming, music, TV and video and book businesses have adapted to a digital world.

According to the report. the media sector in 2020 –broken down into physical and digital sales of books, games, music and video & TV content – was worth an aggregate $236bn. Around $194bn of these sales were digital, accounting for 18% as an aggregate, although it varies across the sectors.

While, all are predominantly digital in consumption –games 80%, music 75% and TV and video 98% – all are seeing sales growth across all channels, with subscriptions and better broadband driving an increase in streaming, but with physical sales, especially of books and peripherals, holding up surprisingly well.

The report also uncovers how the lines between how these content types engage consumers are blurring with music services increasingly adding video and video and games services becoming the place to ‘drop’ new music.

The role of technology such as Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) is also gaining a foothold in these sectors, which should prompt retailers to look at how they too can use such tech.

These media channels also need to be looked at more closely by retailers as the places where they need to look to do clever and engaging marketing. Louis Vuitton, for example, has provided in-game skins for League of Legends since 2019, while more recently Burberry has developed in-game character skin-designs for Honour of Kings through a partnership with TiMi Studios, owned by Tencent.

“The way consumers interact with ‘media’ services for entertainment offers some vital lessons for retailers as it shows them where their customers are and what their customers are doing – and what channels and technology they are using,” said the report’s author Paul Skeldon in a RetailX webinar with Tealium this week.

He adds: “Understanding the way they are engaging with entertainment is going to be key to the next wave of ecommerce strategy: across marketing, engagement and actual selling. It will also drive up use of things like mobile, AR and VR, gamification and subscriptions – and consumers will expect these not just from their media companies, but from all brands and organisations they deal with. Just look at how the use of WhatsApp and DM has grown across the pandemic. This same process will now happen with these other technologies.”

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