It has almost been a year since the pandemic took the world by the storm. The lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the pandemic has altered people’s behaviour and expectations as they are preferring to stay at home than going out to seek entertainment. As per a report, in the first phase of India’s lockdown, the total TV consumption grew by 37% and crossed a record 1.21 trillion minutes.
The amount of time spent outdoors has been greatly reduced which has further resulted in people seeking entertainment at home. Hence, we are witnessing a noticeable increase in online content consumption through OTT channels and music streaming apps. According to a report by ET Money, the outdoor entertainment under lockdown spends on this category has been reduced to less than 40% of last year. This has prompted filmmakers to skip theatrical release to take OTT route which has resulted in the increased digital media consumption. According to a report by Tech Mahindra on ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Media and Entertainment Industry’ theatres are closed, production has come to a halt, advertising has been disrupted, and most importantly, consumption of entertainment at home has been on the rise.
In today’s digitally disrupted world, companies too are staying relevant as they are constantly looking out for technologies to enhance the audio experience of consumers. Here are some most impactful audio trends to look out for in 2021:
1. In this pandemic phase, we have witnessed families investing in soundbars to spend quality time together. People are looking for immersive technologies to recreate the theatre-like experience from the comfort and safety of their homes, thereby creating a need for technologically superior soundbars. Since the past 75 years, Sennheiser has always been at the helm of shaping the future of audio industry in India. To keep up with the passion of constantly innovating, Sennheiser recently introduced the AMBEO Soundbar which delivers a 3D home audio experience in one bar.
2. The Immersive audio experience is the ability of the speakers/audio device to create a 3D space wherein people can not only hear sound coming from the source but can also sense the sound coming from all corners. In short, it is devices that capture and amplify real life that transforms every moment into a supernatural experience. Immersive audio is poised to be the future of the audio industry in the coming years. It has the capability to completely revolutionise the way audio is consumed and created today. An increasing number of products and experiences these days are offering immersive audio across segments, but there is still a lot of unchartered territories when it comes to exploring the multiple possibilities this technology has.
3. Ever since the lockdown occurred, online workout sessions, virtual challenges have become popular. These individual workout sessions have led to people investing in seamless and hassle-free immersive audio experience, thereby creating a need for technologically superior truly wireless earbuds. Truly Wireless Segment has now evolved with superior features such as longer battery life, sweat resistance, better Bluetooth compatibility, enhanced audio quality, and ANC for noise-free listening feature amongst others. Seeing the potential of the TWS, a lot of smartphone brands have started investing in this segment.
2021 will be the year that will witness the technological advancements in the industry. In the coming year, it will be interesting to see how technology in the audio space will impact the lives of customers and professionals alike.
By- Kapil Gulati, Director, Consumer Segment, Sennheiser India