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People will remember the world as one before COVID, and the one after because nothing will ever be the same in a post-COVID world. We might adjust to the new normal, whatever it would be. However, by the time that normalized world arrives, all of us would have slipped into different range of habits which could be a tad difficult to leave behind. A truly digital world was well in the making since a few years now. The fatal virus has brought everything to a standstill while kicking the power accelerator on the digital transformation wagon for each and every industry out there.
Online blogging & digital publications have been all the rage for a few years, but over two-thirds of the adult population still preferred print as their medium of the choice. The growth of over-the-top (OTT) video streaming enjoyed over 70% of the market penetration in the U.S. while Pay TV providers lost more than half of their consumers. The global conferences, conventions, seminars, and similar events attracted footfall of more than 250 million attendees every year, whose priorities were networking, learning, entertainment, and self-improvement. In recent years, these events organizers also started to have a parallel virtual event to extend their reach to those who could not attend physically. Let us understand how media and entertainment consumption is being impacted by the pandemic.
Media consumption in the age of COVID-19
The media consumption trends vary among different generations with Gen Z and millennial spending most of their time watching online videos while Gen X and Baby boomers preferring the broadcast TV. For obtaining reliable updates on the outbreak, the global population turns to websites, expert blog posts, and government emails/newsletters. They are even prepared to purchase subscriptions which they did not have before the outbreak. As a result, various online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, & Prime video, digital publications including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Economist, & The Washington Post, music streaming apps like Spotify, Apple Music, & Prime Music, and digital gaming services such as Xbox live and Playstation Network are seeing a growing number of subscriptions amid the global quarantine situation.
Socializing on social media
Being a social creature, social media is giving people the much-needed outlet for socializing which the quarantining and lockdowns have taken away from them. As a result of the outbreak, consumers are using social media to read the news and related stories, staying in touch with their friends and distant families, sharing their opinions and starting conversations, and networking. In addition to Facebook, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Skype, and Snapchat, people are also leveraging apps such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, House Party, and Marco Polo for satisfying their socializing needs.
For the providers of these social media services, it is the time that would either make or break their market reputation, becoming a deciding factor in their position in a post-COVID world. For example, the major security flaw uncovered in the web conferencing platform, Zoom, resulted in serious skepticism about its reliability. The security bug was so serious that it could let hackers hijack the users’ webcams. Consequently, Zoom announced a 90-day feature freeze to fix all the privacy and security issues. Now more than ever, companies need a well-implemented testing solution for their digital platform as the number of users increase and performance & security issues become prominent.
Surviving the pandemic with robust media & entertainment applications
Global population has resorted to digital solutions for entertaining themselves. Here are some of the solutions which are helping them survive the lockdown.
- Gaming: During the pandemic, a 75% increase in the game app downloads has been observed. As per a report, the sales for video game hardware, software, & accessories have $1.6 billion in the month of March. With the increasing demand for online as well as video gaming platforms, the providers need to ascertain that there services are top-notch. It is high time that they invest in functionality testing, compatibility testing, UI testing, and end-to-end game performance testing services and solutions.
- Virtual conferences: As majority of the events got cancelled, the event organizers are moving to virtual platforms to deliver a similar experience to their attendees while making sure that they obtain at least a share of return on the investments they had put in organizing the actual event. Several virtual conference platforms are being employed by global event organizers to mitigate the disruption caused by the outbreak. However, if the virtual conferencing platform faces a glitch, there is a high chance that the end user will drop off entirely from the event, unlike the physical conference where they would just go to a different booth. As a result, testing the virtual conferencing platform for performance, functionality, and security are of utmost importance.
- Online streaming: Video consumption has surged exponentially over the last couple of months. With the continuously increasing number of users, the online streaming platforms were directed to limit the video quality to reduce network consumption. As no new content is being developed due to social distancing, these platforms should strengthen their streaming services along with their content recommendation engines to deliver the greatest viewing experience to the users. Any sort of downtime may lead to expensive consequences to the OTT service providers. Thorough AI-led testing and test automation are keys to maintaining seamlessness in their services.
The difference that the pandemic has brought is the lack of choice. Earlier, consumers had the option to choose their preferred mode of entertainment and media consumption – print or digital, OTT or Pay TV, virtual events or physical events. Now, with major events getting cancelled, show productions and shootings halted, and movie theatres and public places shut down, there is not really a choice to consumers except for going the digital way to fulfill their media and entertainment needs. Digital platforms have become the sole escape for the locked-down and quarantined population. In times like these, it is essential that the media & entertainment companies grab this opportunity by all means and offer the best experience to their customers.
Cigniti has partnered with various tool vendors to ensure that your users get a truly superior experience as they try and survive the lockdown. Using the right tool can lead to significant reduction in effort and time taken to test a digital platform. With our tool-agnostic approach, we make sure that you get the right test tool as per your needs. Our game testing experts have an in-depth experience in the end-to-end gaming eco-system across platforms including desktop, console, mobile devices, tablets, phablets, & cloud gaming. Schedule a discussion with one of our experts today.