Brand Innovators 2024 Outlook: Entertainment - Brand Innovators

Brand Innovators 2024 Outlook: Entertainment

In 2023, Taylor Swift and Beyonce transformed the meaning of in-person entertainment and Barbie transformed a slumping movie going business. Next year fans will expect these transformative next-level experiences to continue. Expect brands to show up in deeper and more entertaining ways to connect with consumers in these authentic spaces –both in person and digitally – in 2024. 

“Entering 2024, brands get it—they’re not just showing up at events but stepping up to curate moments that enhance the experience. In a world where people increasingly prioritize experiences, it’s about becoming part of the memories your customers are creating, getting them closer to their greatest passions, favorite artists, and unmissable events,” says Russell Wallach, global president at Live Nation.

“I expect we’ll see live continue to be the cultural bridge for brands to reach diverse and more global audiences in the year ahead, with brands cleverly integrating tech to deepen engagement and extend live events worldwide,” he continues. “Next year, I anticipate we’ll see brands making live music extra special—connecting people, crafting experiences, and making fans for life.”

When it comes to home entertainment and streaming, competition will likely continue in 2024. As more players enter the space and subscription prices go up, Magid predicts that churn will go up. The streamers will need to attract customers with great content and ad-supported options, giving brands new opportunities to reach consumers through entertainment.

“As we come out of dual actors and writers strikes, there will still be limited new content and reliance on reality programming in early 2024,” says Jonelle Brown, global brand marketing strategist at Paramount Pictures. “Fortunately, the return of our favorite shows and new content will come soon. We probably won’t be the full peak of content we’ve enjoyed for the last few years, as we’ve seen several series not be renewed after the strikes. I think that’s a good thing because there are only so many hours to spread across multiple streaming services and linear TV. It makes it challenging for some new shows or movies to float to the top, as some cool or interesting programs get lost in the sea of content. That affects the ‘watercooler’ nature of a show because the audience is so fragmented that you, as a viewer, may be watching an incredible show all by yourself without anyone to connect with on it.”  

Pop culture partnerships

Expect to see more brands to partner with pop culture talent to deliver new and exciting experiences. 

“In the year ahead, we are going to see audiences continue to interact with the content and talent they are most passionate about. And, they will continue to pay attention to and support brands that authentically lean into those spaces,” said Jamie Cutburth, EVP, marketing & content partnerships at NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships. “For marketers to successfully grow their businesses, they will need to leverage tentpole events that audiences are showing up for and infuse sophisticated data into their creative process to develop personalized, engaging stories that stand out from the crowd. We will see more of those strategies increase in 2024.”

Expect more fandom events in 2024.  “In 2024, the entertainment landscape will witness a powerful shift as audiences crave more than just content—they’ll seek community,” says Stephane Smith, VP of talent strategy at UTA IQ. “In a sea of endless options, the yearning for connection and shared interests will drive a surge in fan-centric spaces. Communities led by celebrities will thrive, becoming hubs where audiences converge to celebrate passions, fostering a deeper bond than formed through entertainment consumption. This is supported by a UTA commissioned poll among US Gen Zs and Millennials ages 15-42 in which more than half (55%) said they would be interested in joining a fan community offered by their favorite celebrities/influencers.”

Olympic partnerships

Finally, next year brands will likely be looking to partner with participating Olympic athletes whose talents will be on display at the Paris summer games. 

“All eyes will be on the Olympics in the first half of 2024,” says Lauren Nogy, Agent, UTA endorsements & voiceover. “This will likely drive more athlete-led campaigns with brands, both current and retired. Traditionally there are always a select few legacy athletes that always come back in the spotlight around the games in a nostalgic way to re-create an ad from the past which audiences always love.  I could also see Brands and media outlets around the games leaning into Talent that hits the Gen Z and millennials audiences in order to drive awareness and viewership to the games.”