Entertainment in the future is likely to be digital and increasingly virtual as multiple screens mediate nearly all aspects of our lives. Ipsos envisions what this new reality will mean for creators, platforms, companies, brands and even our cars to engage audiences where they’re headed next.

The author(s)
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Cover of What the Future: Entertainment
Read What the Future: Entertainment

NEW YORK, May 13, 2021 – Americans’ dependence on screens grew in the past year and will stick in the future, according to Ipsos' latest issue of What the Future magazine. Today we have multiple screens – and screenless voice assistants – always mediating our work, our entertainment, our social lives, our classrooms and our doctor’s visits. We’re not going back, we’re pushing forward, into the metaverse.

Consumer behavior signals this future as nearly all new streaming subscribers – about nine in ten (87%) on average – say they’ll stick with the services after pandemic restrictions are lifted, according to a recent Ipsos Coronavirus Consumer Tracker survey. People also have grown accustomed to watching new release films from home. Almost half of adults surveyed (47%) say they would rather watch at home, given the choice, even if going in-person was equally safe.

This leads to a growing tension for parents who say their children are spending more time on screens for entertainment than they would like. “Regardless of how much time parents want their children to spend on screens, kids are spending more time and the parents know that,” says Peter Minnium, a president at Ipsos U.S.

In this new reality, creators, platforms, companies, brands and even our cars compete for the audience’s attention. With the lines all blurred, Ipsos asks how can brands engage audiences where they’re headed? That’s what this issue of What the Future aims to answer. With these insights, Ipsos asks leading experts in the realms of media and entertainment four big questions:

  • Ted Schilowitz, futurist-in-residence, Paramount Pictures —How will technology shape entertainment content?
  • Kai Gayoso, partner-digital, Range Media Partners —Who will control the future of entertainment content and marketing? 
  • Dave Meeker, head of design & innovation, Americas, and global chief innovation officer, Denstu Creative —What are the limits of virtual today and tomorrow?
  • Christina Wootten, VP, brand partnerships, Roblox —Will the metaverse be the next Madison & Vine? 

The Entertainment issue also features Ipsos researchers’ guidance on how to answer these questions for consumers, society and brands. The full issue is here. Below are research highlights followed by a topline of the survey results:

  • 48% of those with children at home have three to five streaming subscriptions, compared to 31% of households with no children at home. Nine in ten people with six or more streaming subscriptions say they would be interested in bundling their services.
  • 67% of Americans spend less than $50 each month for paid streaming video services.
  • 22% of parents say their children spend 10 hours or more per week on screen time for entertainment during their free time. That’s more than double the percentage of parents who wish their child would spend that amount of time (9%). For people with children ages 13 to 17 in the household, that reality gap is the largest at 19 points (29% actual versus 10% wish).
  • 2x is how much more likely Americans are to say search engines are important in shopping decisions than influencers. Black (29%), Asian (32%) and Hispanic (40%) consumers are more likely than white consumers (22%) to purchase things they saw influencers, bloggers and celebrities using them on social media.
  • 50% of parents with a child or children under age 13 are familiar with buying virtual gear on gaming or social platforms.
  • 34% of U.S. adults ages 25 to 34 would want to interact with a brand in a virtual world.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 15-19, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 1,284 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for all respondents.

For full results, please refer to the following annotated questionnaire.


The author(s)
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs