The pandemic has redefined the way audiences consume content and altered the entire content distribution, production, and creation ecosystems. Titled 'Pause and Rethink,' the Canadian Media Fund report details the magnitude of these transformations and explores the trends that will shape the audiovisual landscape in 2021. It goes even further in pointing out how an industry that contributes $12.8 billion to Canada’s GDP ingeniously adopts new technologies, responds to the environmental crisis, and commits to inclusion as a core priority.
“What are the major transformations that we’ve observed, and that have been accelerated by the pandemic? Which ones are permanent? The stories, data, and case studies in the report come from across the country and show how resilient and innovative the Canadian screen industry is. Not only is the report taking stock of where we are today, it contributes to the conversation we are launching with the industry about how we can work together to thrive in an environment marked by profound disruption.”, says CMF Chief Strategy Officer Kelly Wilhelm.
“There’s no denying that 2020 was a year of tremendous upheaval, and that the screen industry must get a grasp of everything that’s emerged. Under lockdown, audiences have massively turned to digital content for relief. The streaming wars have intensified, and strategies to better position Canadian content in the fray have become more sophisticated,” says CMF Director of Industry and Market Trends Catherine Mathys. “The audiovisual industry has been digitizing at warp speed, integrating new technologies as soon as they become available to ensure on-set safety in particular, while seeking to reduce its significant environmental footprint. The industry also seems to be finally reckoning with calls for change from under-represented communities as audiences hunger more than ever for content they can relate to on screen.”
-Traditional niche content and platforms (like Twitch) that are opening up more to the general public to get everyone’s attention as the steaming wars rage on
-Theatres are looking at reinventing themselves through new partnerships and event-based approaches in a bid to win back audience during lockdown
-Further pandemic-induced experimentation with new pricing models for traditional streaming services
-The democratization of metaverses through virtual and augmented reality
-The increased importance of intimacy coordinators on film sets during the pandemic
-The growing use of virtual production technologies as an eco-friendly alternative, especially in reducing waste and air travel
-The progressive integration of environmental best practices to create healthier and more energy-efficient workplaces
-The emergence of extended reality as an option for closed entertainment venues during the pandemic
The successes of certain virtual festivals, namely increased sales, and better access for emerging creators and international festival goers
-Culturally specific content and international markets: navigating markets not familiar with the local Canadian context
-Actions and resources needed to increase the participation and inclusion of creators from underrepresented communities and to enable a more inclusive industry