“We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO.” This matter-of-fact assessment from Netflix, the world’s biggest streaming company, provoked a stir among media commentators and analysts earlier this year. Yet the logic is there: Netflix has 149 million subscribers, compared with 250 million users of Fortnite’s Battle Royale gaming platform. Time spent on traditional media is in decline, and consumer attention is getting harder to win and keep. Content needs to be more and more engaging – the success of Netflix’s own Black Mirror: Bandersnatch film demonstrated the strong consumer appetite for more interactive forms of content.
Netflix and other media companies are not alone in seeing the future of consumption in the convergence of content, gaming, and interactive services. In fact, we would go further to say that every company in the future will need to think and act like an entertainer.
Consider what Starbucks has done in Shanghai. It partnered with Alibaba to create “an amusement park for coffee,” complete with in-store augmented reality features where consumers can learn about the roasting process and unlock virtual menus by pointing their phones at icons in the store.
Many others are luring customers with heightened experiences. Cosmetics giant L’Oréal created an app that lets consumers try as many as 64 “beauty looks” on their phone. Walmart’s patent filings highlight plans for virtual stores where consumers can shop from home using smart gloves and VR headsets. And content studios are no longer the preserve of the media giants, being increasingly sought out by consumer brands such as Red Bull, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, and Unilever.
Source: Harvard Business Review