We live in remarkable times still. I thought now would be a good time therefore to talk a little about the changing landscape in the Middle East in the media and entertainment industries. The world is looking as though it is thinking about heading back to normal but clearly there huge differences across the world and from region to region. What “normal” is going to be is also an interesting question. So I thought it was perhaps about time that I gave you some thoughts relating to the changing landscape in the media and entertainment markets in the Middle East. And what that “normal” may actually look like.

The current environment of course is an outcome of the two years we have all just lived through. So the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Middle East region has to be discussed, however we all maybe would not want to anymore. For sure, it has had a pretty major impact, some good, some obviously bad, depending on the actual sector that we’re talking about within the media and entertainment environment.

On the bad side, obviously massive negative impact on in person revenues, so cinema attendance, concerts, live music, theatre, even physical media and the advertising implications relating to the same. Obviously corporate events, conferences, exhibitions, production activities, anything that has required that face-to-face element have been massively impacted. So for sure we have various statistics that talk about decline. The latest PwC Global Entertainment Media Outlook for this period, 2020 to 2024, is talking about an 8.3% fall down to a figure of $19.7 billion for this year. We may see some continuing reduced revenue ranges for a little while but again it really depends upon which sector that we’re talking about.

The very remarkable period that we are all still living through for sure has prompted a number of very key changes. Significant impacts that are changing operating parameters, are changing results, are changing future strategic direction. And I’ll look at a few of these over the coming days and weeks. One the primaries is the drive towards digital activities. I’m going to talk about some possible opportunities in areas like film production. We have to talk about the refocusing of brands and the advertising industry generally with a move towards a greater concentration on the digital, the use of social media. Television models are changing for sure. We’ve seen more of, and we are going to continue seeing I think more of a move towards transactional and VOD models within television generally and we all obviously are becoming very used to the digital consumption of content. I’m going to talk about cinema, events and sports and also going the developing world of sponsorship within the Middle Eastern region.

And one of the key points I suppose is that the major changes we’ve seen during pandemic and during the lockdown period that we’ve all been experiencing, they may have changed certain things for good. There won’t be a bounce back. There is a new future based on some of the changes that we have seen.

And we should also definitely take a look at what is coming up - what does the future hold for us and are there any lessons, are there any tips as to the things that we should be doing now within the media and entertainment industries?

Watch this space…