Has entertainment come full circle? Thanks to the internet, we’re no longer confined to consuming entertainment with those in our immediate environment. We’re not just sat binge watching TV series’ on our own either. Instead, we’re branching out to experience entertainment together again. We’re back to being our social selves.
You could be sat there right now, wherever you are, listening to a shared playlist in real-time with your friend in Australia. Maybe you’re streaming a multiplayer game, based on the recommendation of online reviews. Inter-connective technology has made it possible for us to multi-screen, multi-task, and share the fun things in life over a binary connection. Entertainment has never been so readily available – or shareable.
Let’s use Spotify’s Social Listening feature as an example. Say you and a friend want to listen to music together, but you’re literally miles apart. What do you do? Well, you could turn on the radio, but who is really in control then? Neither of you. But with the Social Listening feature, all it takes is a scan of a QR code and you’re both controlling the music. You could introduce your friend to an artist they’d like, let them show you a song you’ve never heard, or simply find new music together. Spotify hope to reel out Social Listening to non-employees soon, while Apple are said to be working on a similar function as well.
Next, you have the Internet’s colossal impact on gaming. We no longer approach the idea of video games with a solo mindset. Instead, we’re all about mass multiplayer online games, RPG shoot-outs with friends, or games of blackjack at an international table. We also don’t have to rely on video game magazines or word of mouth recommendations either. Take online casino games, for example. There are thousands, if not millions of options out there, and you could spend a lifetime looking for the best bonuses. Yet, because we can now build online communities, there are dedicated websites out there to help you find what you are looking for. The same can also be said for independent review sites of console games.
Ever liked the idea of a long distance movie night? Well, that’s exactly what Netflix were thinking too. The globe’s leading subscription streaming service has now unveiled a Chrome extension to enable party viewing. It’s aptly called Netlix Party, and allows synchronized video playback alongside on-screen group chat. So, you can watch, react, and chat, all in unison. Naturally, this is a huge leap forward for social entertainment, because there are literally zero chances of spoilers! You’ll need access to a Netflix account and Chrome to use the Party plug-in. But, if you have these set up, installing the feature is absolutely free.
So, how has the internet changed how we approach entertainment? The easiest answer is that we don’t go at it alone anymore. It’s a group endeavour, and in an age when it’s easy to become isolated, the internet is keeping us connected with more than on-screen messages. We’re sharing hilarious moments in a movie, educating one another via music apps, beating each other at online soccer, and ultimately building communities. It’s no surprise all of this is changing the way we make technology too. After all, when all your consumers have access to a keyboard, they’re bound to be heard.