Business

Entertainment Mobile Apps – Apps That Have Changed the Industry

Aleksandra Rajczyk

Nothing has proved the value of entertainment more than the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. As a form of reflection on that troubling period, we take a look at some of the most popular mobile entertainment apps and what makes them so great.

The digitalization of the entertainment industry has somewhat of a tumultuous history. Remember Metallica vs. Napster? Who would have thought back then that mp3 files and streaming services will be the main form of interacting with music 20 years later? Today we can’t deny that music, cinema, theatre, radio, dance, games, and live streaming has to go digital if they want to keep their relevance to modern mainstream culture. That is not a disadvantage: all forms of art and entertainment rely on making a connection with the regular people. Reaching millions has never been easier. Mobile apps have opened the door for a new kind of engagement where physical presence isn’t necessary, but the impact is global. 

Let’s have a closer look at the phenomenon. 

What are entertainment mobile apps?

Entertainment apps cover a variety of applications available for mobile devices that deal with interactive activities related to leisure and having fun. They’re their own ecosystem that is a leverage for content creators, artists, and marketing strategies that help them make money.

There are a few types of entertainment apps. The 3 most popular are social media apps, music apps, and gaming apps. All of them encompass different forms of interacting with entertaining content: from listening to our favorite songs, through killing some time with a round of Tetris, to connecting with our friends and the content they wish to share with us. 

Truly, the definition of an entertainment mobile app is as broad as the idea of entertainment itself. 

How have mobile applications revolutionized the entertainment industry?

The impact of entertainment mobile apps is hard to deny. Those apps have shifted not only the way we consume entertainment but also opened our eyes to how entertainment is made. 

Below you’ll find the biggest changes to the entertainment industry caused by mobile applications. 

The rule of creators

The figure of an Internet content creator is definitely a sign of the times. Creating and sharing content has never been easier. All you need is an idea, a device with an app, and your living room. Providing entertainment is no longer a specialty of industry insiders – now everyone can give it a try. Videos, podcasts, blog posts, streams, photographs, drawings music, even funny tweets – all of these forms of entertainment can be created by people with no prior experience nor a true desire to entertain millions. The participation of amateurs in creating content has changed entertainment from oligarchy to democracy. 

Pocket gaming

Playing games predates computers. It’s one of the oldest forms of having fun for humans. Humans have enjoyed and learned from games in the last five thousand years. The evolving gaming industry quickly saw the potential in mobile applications. Unlike PC and console games, gaming apps do not require any additional equipment besides a mobile device. Having on the go, in a bus, in a waiting line, or during a boring meeting that could have been an email attracts more users every year. 

The new television

The popularity is slowly decreasing, especially in the younger generations. Part of the reason why is that entertainment apps, especially social media, have become the new television. Influencers are characters that are much more engaging than actors on the big screen because they can be reached. Influencers have their own storylines, dramatic turns of events, and heartfelt moments. Users even have a sense of agency: maybe their honest comment on Facebook will stop their favorite creator from coming back to the toxic ex? It’s like a never-ending, interactive reality show. An app can build a bridge between consuming entertainment and being part of a community. User and fan-generated content are much more interesting to the youngest generation than staged formats known from television.

Reduction of content piracy

Digital streaming services like iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and more are there to provide endless hours of your favorite songs and videos at little to no cost. It’s getting harder and harder to meet someone with a collection of physical copies. Artists can be fully independent. Although copyrights are still a hot subject, thanks to streaming services no one really feels the need to pirate content anymore. 

Marketing revolution

Last but not least, entertainment mobile apps have created new ways of digital advertising. Mobile apps are efficient in promotion by offering a platform for ads and by providing space for influencers to upload their content. Marketing through mobile apps and influencers can be similar to commercials known on tv, but their strength doesn’t lie in the budget or the production value: closeness to influencers presenting the product mimics word of mouth consumers have been using for years, meaning if we’re happy with the product, we’re going to recommend it to our friends and family. Because of parasocial relationships nurtured by social media, users view content creators as friends which makes them more likely to try out the products recommended by the creator – often it doesn’t even matter if it’s a sponsorship agreement. 

It’s clear to see that entertainment mobile apps have revolutionized the entertainment industry. Truly, the big bosses have no other choice than to adapt. This process has already started: perfect examples are interactive tv shows and a push for fan-generated content instead of traditional advertising. 

The most popular entertainment mobile apps

Raise your hand if you have at least 3 of the apps mentioned below installed on your mobile device right now! If you do, there’s a good reason for it: these are the entertainment apps that are ruling the digital space right now. 

All numbers presented come from the first quarter of 2021. 

YouTube

Number of users: over 2 billion

YouTube doesn’t need an introduction. This video streaming app allows users – logged in or not to watch short series and movie clips, listen to songs, follow content creators, listen to podcasts, take part in interactive games, watch live streams, and many more. Everyone can create their own YouTube channel and start uploading with the help of YoutTube Creator Studio. YouTube offers Premium accounts that remove all advertisements and give access to extra content produced in partnership with YouTube. Today, YouTube effectively rivals television.  

Netflix

Number of paid subscribers: 203.67 million

Netflix took the world by storm. It’s a streaming service focused on movies, tv-series, and shows. through distribution deals, Netflix boasts an impressive collection of well-loved pieces. However, Netflix is also a major player in film and tv production. Netflix Originals compete with Hollywood productions in the race for awards. Watching on Netflix is easy because it’s multiplatform: you can start watching an episode of your favorite tv shows on a smartphone while riding a bus, pause, and resume right where you left off when you reach home and turn on the tv or a computer. Once you’re finished watching, Netflix will suggest similar content that you can organize into a list. 

Spotify

Number of monthly active users: 286 million

Spotify is a music service app that allows you to legally listen to music and save many of them offline as well. With a user base of 24 million, this app is trending in the music section. You can browse through songs as per artists or genres. The recently updated app allows you to save up to 3000 tracks offline.

Amazon Prime

Number of prime members in the United States: 142.5 million

Even the recent controversies that resulted in Jeff Bezos stepping down can’t affect the popularity of this online giant. Amazon Prime streams films and tv shows. As a direct competition of Netflix, Amazon also invests in creating original content. 

Twitch

Number of unique daily viewers: 15 million

Amedia platform that provides streaming services. Intended mainly for the streaming of computer games, it has quickly garnered popularity as an easy tool for streaming that every user with a camera and a microphone can try. Streamers can share streams with other Twitch creators and interact with their audience through real-time chat. Viewers can subscribe to Twitch channels and make requests backed up by monetary rewards. 

HBO Now and HBO Max

Number of subscribers: 37.7 million

This on-demand streaming service is a perfect example of a well-established industry favorite to the changing market. HBO has been a trailblazer for good quality tv that created trends. By developing a mobile app, HBO gives its subscribers access to their catalog and further expands their audience. 

9GAG

Average monthly page views: 3.5 billion

What the Internet would be without funny pictures? 9gag allows users to upload funny videos, GIFs, and images. Made in Hong Kong as a webpage, 9gag developed an entertainment mobile app in 2012 and further proved that what connects people from all around the world is a good laugh. 

Instead of summary: the future of mobile apps in the entertainment industry

Is the bubble going to burst soon? Unlikely. It’s no secret that entertainment mobile apps bring good money. There’s a good reason why: people want to interact with the content they find entertaining whenever it is possible, and since the popularity of smartphones has been increasing steadily in the past decade, it’s safe to assume that investing in entertainment mobile apps is a good decision in the foreseeable feature. Mobile phones are used for more than just calling. 

What we will see is the implementation of technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality that will offer even more engaging entertainment. Entertainment mobile apps will only rise in popularity. 

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