2024 media

Entertainment, Media & Technology Trends to Watch in 2024: 

As 2024 kicks into gear, we at Horowitz are concentrating on the shifts in entertainment, media, and technology that will most certainly impact consumer attitudes and behaviors in the next 12 months.

TV Is Back(ish): Despite the many TV networks and streaming services, in 2023 there was very little new and interesting content available to watch. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes had effectively shut down television and film production for the better part of the year and contributed to the dearth of content available to watch right now. With the strikes over, and with understandings hammered out (for now) on many critical issues, including about how AI can and cannot be used in content creation, we can all look forward to new, exciting, high-quality content. Some of it will premiere in 2024, whereas other productions won’t make it to the screen until 2025. I am personally excited for Amazon Prime Video’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith (for so many reasons!) and HBO’s True Detective: Night Country, though there are many other new productions and new seasons of shows to engage us in 2024!

Better Content Discovery Experiences: All this new content will be great, but how will we find it? For a few years now, we at Horowitz have been reporting consumer fatigue and frustration in the streaming space with trying to find something to watch in a fragmented ecosystem. More recently, there have been major improvements in content discovery. In July 2023, we reported on how consumers were leaning on curated collections and hubs within streaming platforms to help find resonant content, and most operating systems now offer universal search across platforms. But, still, the streaming ecosystem cannot replicate the ritual of flipping through channels to browse and find something to watch or really have that “must-see TV” water cooler experience. Enter Plex’s Discover platform, offering “the ability to create one universal Watchlist, browse curated recommendations, and watch trailers for new releases” from across all sources. This platform enables you to see what’s trending overall, save a watchlist, and even share your watchlist and reviews with friends. I anticipate we will be seeing much more of this kind of functionality moving forward in the streaming space as audiences yearn for more curated recommendations (by real people, not algorithms) that can lead to those fun water cooler moments. 

Free TV! Most of the new shows coming out will be available behind paywalls, but there will also be plenty to watch for free. The industry recently discovered that there’s a market for free, ad-supported television (FAST), and yes, I say that tongue-in-cheek. When FAST channels first emerged, there was little in the way of strategy or professional curation or programming. In 2024, we will see the explosion of FAST as a more strategic piece of the media ecosystem, a way for media brands/networks to engage viewers and then drive them to subscribe to premium streaming tiers for all the great, new, just-released content. We will continue to see a refocus on windowing, even in streaming services, with new episodes of many shows released on a per-episode basis to drive viewership, maximize revenue, and reaffirm the value of premium subscriptions.

A Return to the Bundle: We also predict we will be seeing more consolidation in the streaming space—a return to the multichannel experience, if you will—of networks/content sources under one umbrella with one log-in, one user experience, and one bill easily managed in one place. Consumers can already get streaming bundles, such as through Verizon’s myPlan perk. A true streaming multichannel experience won’t happen overnight though. There’s too much invested in the multitude of individual platforms, each of whom has put loads of money into technology development, licensing deals, and original content. But if the conversations between Discovery Warner Bros. and Paramount give us any indication, we anticipate we will be seeing more streaming services mergers and acquisitions happening in 2024.

Blurring the Line Between Entertainment, Advertising, and Commerce: The biggest challenge in the streaming space is generating revenue—the money to pay for all the great content and consumer experiences we all yearn for. Ad sales are a key component of this, especially now that most services, including Netflix, have ad-supported tiers. In the digital ecosystem, personalized ad experiences informed by big data are entirely possible, and e-commerce sales are just a remote click or QR code away. However, a major barrier to interactive advertising is the concern that these experiences could distract from the consumer’s viewing experience of the show itself. We believe that the industry needs to look at social media platforms like TikTok to imagine what new engagement and revenue opportunities might present themselves once there is less of a divide between entertainment, advertising, and commerce.

The Competitive Market for Home Internet: On a related note, another development we are keeping close tabs on is what is happening with the market for home internet services. In December 2023, we reported on how bullish consumers are for wireless 5G home internet, which could potentially pose a major threat to broadband providers as mobile providers expand their home internet offerings to more markets across the United States. 5G service costs about half the price of broadband, and consumers who have adopted 5G wireless home internet so far are highly satisfied with it. Does fixed-line wireless 5G really hold a candle to internet service hard-wired to the home? It remains to be seen if these high levels of satisfaction hold up as subscribers transition out of the honeymoon phase. That said, we do anticipate that the aggressive roll-out of 5G wireless home internet will force a new era of competition in the space that will see internet prices drop and providers offering more in the way of perks, like the aforementioned bundles of streaming services. 

We’re excited to start the new year by going into the field with State of Media, Entertainment, and Tech: Subscriptions, one of our annual studies tracking the evolving market for entertainment and communications content, services and technologies for over 30 years. Stay tuned for more from Horowitz’s consumer insights in 2024!

Adriana Waterston is an Executive Vice President and Insights & Strategy Lead at Horowitz Research. A thought leader in the diversity space, Adriana has consulted for clients in entertainment and news media, technology and telecommunications, travel and hospitality, CPG, retail, toys, beauty and personal care, and the emerging Cannabis market, among others.


For more information about the State of Media, Entertainment, and Tech: Subscriptions report, visit: https://www.horowitzresearch.com/syndicated-research/state-of-media-subscriptions/. To purchase the report, schedule an interview with an analyst, or to request specific data, please contact Nicole Cicogna: [email protected], 347-738-1574.


Horowitz Research is a leading provider of consumer market research specializing in consumers and their relationships to media, content, and technology with a particular expertise in cultural insights among America’s Black, Latinx, Asian, LGBTQIA+, and Gen Z audiences. The company offers a full suite of à la carte syndicated reports as well as custom quantitative and qualitative consumer research for companies ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500. Horowitz Research was recently acquired by M/A/R/C Research, a Texas-based research and insights firm. For more information, visit www.horowitzresearch.com.

Photo by Carlynn Alarid on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article
employee experience

Advanced Employee Experience: Rethinking Recognition

Next Article
loyalty juggernaut

Passikoff: Attack of the Loyalty Juggernauts

Related Posts

Subscribe to TheCustomer Report

Customer Enlightenment Delivered Daily.

    Get the latest insights, tips, and technologies to help you build and protect your customer estate.