Oscars 2023 the entertainment industry

With the Oscars taking place in March, all eyes are on the global entertainment industry. The glamour, revenues and audiences may all be returning post-pandemic, but the movie and live events business has yet to fully recover from the Covid crisis and is having to constantly evolve in a new environment driven by economic, technology and sustainability risk trends, according to insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS)' new outlook for the sector. AGCS is a major player in the global entertainment insurance market and has insured five of the 10 movies nominated in the Oscars' Best Picture category in 2023, continuing a long tradition of partnership with the film industry that goes back as far as the movies of Charlie Chaplin 100 years ago.

"The entertainment industry had a very positive year in 2022 and a welcome recovery is definitely underway, but we are not out of the woods yet," says Michael Furtschegger, Global Head of Entertainment at AGCS. "In the three years since the coronavirus first hit the headlines, the world has changed. The sector must continue to evolve in line with new technologies, proliferating platforms, and seismic shifts in patterns of consumption, as well as changes in the public mood, particularly among younger generations."

Despite the headwinds, consumers are heading back to their favorite entertainment venues or platforms in encouraging numbers. Global box office receipts hit $25.9bn in 2022, reports Gower Street Analytics, a 27% gain on 2021, but still 35% behind the average for the three years before the pandemic (2017 to 2019). Live music revenue is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2024, with digital music streaming subscriptions fueling growth in recorded music, where revenues are projected to reach $45.8bn in 2026, up from $36.1bn in 2021, according to PwC. Live theater is also staging a comeback with rising receipts and attendances, while the global sports industry is proving particularly resilient supported by media rights, sponsorship deals, and a calendar of fixed international events and tournaments.

The big picture

However, as with other industry sectors, the entertainment sector is not immune to economic trends such as rising costs or staff shortages. "Our entertainment clients are feeling the effects of inflation, with increased production and live-event costs.," Furtschegger explains. "Staffing costs have risen following the skills shortage that occurred in the wake of the pandemic when many left the industry. Venues are scarcer than they were because there are still many shows postponed from the pandemic that need to take place in addition to new events and festivals. Bigger events may be thriving, but smaller events are more challenged by factors such as venue, transportation, and energy costs. We expect to see more consolidation in the industry, with smaller, struggling production companies and venues being bought by larger operators."

Quality not quantity

Technology has lowered the barriers to entry for content creators, when almost anyone can upload to TikTok, YouTube or Instagram, while at the other end of the scale, the major studios and tech businesses are launching their own platforms. The sheer volume of content that is now being created and distributed makes quality a key differentiator in a crowded market.

"We see a move towards quality in film production, but this doesn't come cheap," says Wanda Phillips, Head of North America Entertainment Insurance at AGCS. "Businesses need to know they have sufficient insurance cover for sophisticated productions. Where costs increase, so, too do exposures because the costs are higher with each day of shooting, and this could be reflected in any insurance loss."

Getting vigilant about sustainability

There is a growing influence of ESG, or environmental, social, and governance issues on the sector. This year's Oscars ceremony will see green dresses on the red carpet as the Academy encourages a more responsible approach to awards-season fashion. In live events, British band Coldplay has pledged to halve the carbon emissions associated with its current 'Music of the Spheres' world tour, compared to 2016-2017, and has made a raft of sustainable commitments, including paying a surcharge for aviation fuel, sourcing ethical, sustainable merchandise, and planting a tree for every ticket sold.

"Younger generations are particularly concerned about sustainability, and festival organizers are responding to this," says Furtschegger. "More and more entertainment organizations are committing themselves to sustainability targets to reduce the emissions associated with live tours."

The virtual future

With streaming now fundamental to the entertainment and media landscape, virtual conferences are a particular growth area. The global virtual events market was valued at over $114bn in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.4% from 2022 to 2030. Even without a live audience, virtual conferences still carry risks, including transmission failure because of a weather event or natural catastrophe, fire affecting the broadcast unit, or network issues impacting broadcasting infrastructure. Rented equipment and studio space can also be vulnerable to property and casualty liabilities.

Reality and live content are also continuing to grow, facilitated by on-demand services and social media platforms. Virtual reality (VR) is the fastest-growing entertainment and media segment, reports PwC, with global VR growth between 2021 and 2026 expected to bring the segment to $7.6bn. Gaming is forecast to be 85% of total VR revenue by 2026.

"As the worlds of gaming, music and entertainment continue to converge, gaming platforms such as Fortnite and Roblox are increasingly serving as entertainment and social hubs, while gaming content is crossing over to social media and streaming platforms," says Furtschegger. HBO debuted 'The Last of Us', a video-game adaptation set in a post-apocalyptic world, in January 2023 to critical acclaim. Meanwhile, video games continue to develop as a spectator sport, with the total number of esports viewers worldwide possibly exceeding 640 million by 2025 according to a recent report.

Emerging risks on the scene

Health and safety protocols, particularly in the event of future pandemics, increasing weather hazards and crowd safety are some of the key risk concerns that the entertainment industry needs to monitor closely. "The Covid crisis and the recent tragic shooting incident on a film set have shown that the industry needs to remain vigilant about its health and safety protocols," says Furtschegger. Climate change is another cause for concern. "We're seeing more abnormal weather-related events – heavy storms and flooding in Europe and bushfires in California, for example. These inevitably cause havoc for live events, both in terms of cancellation exposure but also damages and human safety."

"Crowds have always carried inherent risks," adds Kurt Miner, Managing Director, Entertainment, at Allianz Risk Consulting, North America. "Event organizers are now better able to monitor large groups of people and keep them safe, as well as artists, with the use of real-time video monitoring. Safety experts can remotely monitor two or three events, which could each be taking place over 15 acres or more, spotting risks concerns such as blocked exits or damaged barriers. They can also monitor social media to pre-empt gate-rushing and prevent stampedes, sending a security contingent to the location before the situation gets out of hand." Slips and falls are the most common cause of claims from live-event policies, so organizers should ensure medical staff and transport to local medical facilities are on site.

The 2023 Academy Awards in Hollywood with musical performances by Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz and more.

Singapore's Music Studios

Singapore has long been a booming hub for music production, with local and international artists flocking to the city-state to access its top-notch recording studios. In recent times, Singapore’s music recording industry has grown drastically- the city now boasts some of the best-known recording studios in the world. From classic, analogue , to ultra- modern digital production, Singapore's recording facilities cater to all kinds of genres and artists. Yes, whether you're a musician or a producer, you can find top-notch recording studios in Singapore to fit your needs.

Singapore has some of the world's best recording studios. The studios provide high-quality services for international and local artists. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a hip-hop artist looking for a gritty street sound or a classical artist looking for a more refined sound- Singapore has something for everyone. Here's a look at some of the best-known recording studios in Singapore:

Homestead Audio Services is a professional audio recording and music production company based in Singapore. They specialize in providing sound design and editing for a range of media, from television and online media to virtual reality, documentaries, advertising, games, animation and corporate media. Homestead Audio Services was founded in 2005 by professional audio engineer, Thomas Tan. Drawing on his experience in audio engineering and music production, Thomas has created a team of highly skilled professionals who can help clients with all their audio needs. With a focus on quality and customer satisfaction, Homestead Audio Services has become one of the most reliable audio production companies in Singapore. Homestead Audio Services offers a range of services including recording, mixing, mastering, sound design, post-production, voice-over and foley. They are also equipped with the latest audio software and hardware, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live and Reason. In addition to providing audio services, Homestead Audio Services also provides audio education services. They offer courses such as Audio Production and Music Production, as well as workshops on how to use audio software.

Waveform Studios: Waveform Studios is an all-digital recording facility. The studio offers musicians and producers the latest and best in recording technology. The studio boasts a selection of microphones, outboard gear, and a wide variety of preamps. Waveform Studios is well-equipped to handle complex productions- this makes it one of the top recording studios in Singapore.

Next is WKW Recording Studio: WKW Recording Studio is a boutique recording studio located on Singapore's Orchard Road. With its vintage equipment and modern technology, WKW offers a unique recording experience for everyone- from singer-songwriters to full-band productions. The studio boasts a selection of world-class producers, thus ensuring all projects are of the highest quality.

The Music Lab: The Music Lab is another top-notch recording studio in Singapore. The studio boasts a wide range of analogue and digital equipment. It gives a comfortable atmosphere, making it a great choice for artists who need to focus and stay motivated. The Music Lab has built up a great reputation in the music world; it hosts many local and international activities. Then there’s Red Dot Recording: Red Dot Recording is a well-known recording enterprise in Singapore- it has a selection of high-end equipment and professional staff. With its comfortable atmosphere and excellent customer service, Red Dot Recording is a great choice for any artist or producer. The studio offers recording packages that cater to all kinds of budgets. It’s an excellent choice for recording projects of any size.

The Recording Connection. The Recording Connection is a music production and recording studio that has been around since 1995. It offers a variety of services, including production, mixing, mastering, and recording. With a state-of-the-art facility and knowledgeable staff, this is the perfect place for any artist looking to record music in Singapore.

Crescendo Music Studio: Located in the vibrant city of Singapore, Crescendo Music Studio is a high-end recording studio; it is equipped with the latest technology and equipment. The studio’s recording engineers and producers have extensive experience with a variety of genres, from hip-hop and R&B to classical and rock. The studio offers many services, including mastering and mixing and a variety of audio post-production services.

Reel to Reel Music Studio: Reel to Reel Music Studio is a renowned recording studio- it’s located in the heart of Singapore. The enterprise has a great selection of analogue and digital recording equipment. Like others, the studio offers various services, including mixing, mastering, and live recording. Artists working with Reel-to-Reel Music Studio can take advantage of their voice-over and sound design services. Love Records Studio: Love Records Studio is a renowned recording studio in Singapore. It specializes in hip-hop, pop, and R&B music. The studio offers a range of services, including recording, mixing, mastering, and post-production services. This studio is equipped with a vocal booth, as well as a variety of instruments, including bass, guitar, and drums.

These are some of the best-known recording studios in Singapore. With so many great facilities to choose from, this city is a true Mecca for various music production engagements. For any international or local artist, Singapore is home to some of the world’s best recording studios. From The Recording Connection to Love Records Studio, there’s something for everyone and every genre. So, if you’re looking to record music in Singapore, make check out one of these high-tech studios.

We Will Rock You Opens its electrifying season

We Will Rock You Opens its electrifying season

The rock-n-roll musical featuring 24 of Queen's greatest hits, We Will Rock You finally opened in Singapore at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay on 5 January 2023. The re-imagined production from the iconic Ben Elton & Queen collaboration, watched by 20 million worldwide, is now directed and choreographed by Olivier Award nominee, Nick Winston. Singapore is its second stop, following its premiere in Manila in November 2022. Tickets to the Singapore performances, playing till 22 January 2023 are available at Sistic.

After Singapore, this production continues on a multi-year international tour, bringing this dynamic new interpretation to audiences across the world. GMG Productions, whose headquarters are in Manila, will bring We Will Rock You to New Zealand in June 2023, after Singapore's season.

"GMG Productions is incredibly excited to have our production of We Will Rock You debut in Singapore. While the original production has been seen by over 20 million people worldwide, we know the Singapore audience loves Queen and Queen's music, and we can't wait to thrill them with our brand-new set and costume design. Our director has also brought a modern vibe to the musical and we promise that the 2023 update is one musical-rock-concert that everybody will enjoy," said GMG Productions CEO and We Will Rock You producer, Carlos Candal.

In addition, Mr Candal adds, "GMG Productions has had its sights on markets outside of the Philippines for some time, so we are thrilled to be taking We Will Rock You to Singapore and New Zealand, two markets we plan to bring a lot of content to over the next few years. While Manila is where it all started, we are focused on expanding into the rest of the Asia Pacific."

We Will Rock You follows two revolutionaries as they try to save rock'n'roll music in a post-apocalyptic world. The musical is telling of an age where algorithms predict every human preference, and so, the new We Will Rock You is a musical for our time: a fast-paced, fist-pumping, foot-stomping anthem to individuality. This brand-new international rock-powered production features 24 of Queen's biggest hits, including Killer Queen, Under Pressure, We Are the Champions, Radio Ga Ga, I Want to Break Free, Don't Stop Me Now Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites the Dust, and, of course, the inimitable We Will Rock You. 

Says Nick Winston, director and choreographer, "I'm so grateful to the Producers for supporting my vision for We Will Rock You. Science fiction isn't a genre you get to explore often in musical theatre, and I have had so much fun bringing this dystopian world to life with my extraordinary cast and creative team. I hope the Singapore audience enjoys what we've worked on to bring them!"

With a futuristic styled set by Tom Rogers, video backdrop by Douglas O'Connell and fabulous new costumes from Sarah Mercade, the musical is set to thrill Singapore in its limited season! 

Global Music Streaming Market Analysis Report 2022

Global Music Streaming Market Analysis Report 2022

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Gaining Momentum. The global music streaming market is expected to grow from $24.09 billion in 2021 to $27.24 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.08%. The music streaming market is expected to grow to $45.31 billion in 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.57%.

North America was the largest region in the music streaming market in 2021. The regions covered in the music streaming market report are Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Africa.

The increasing adoption of smart devices is expected to propel the growth of the music streaming market. Smart devices such as smartphones, and smart speakers have changed the way of listening to music. They include smart features like the ability to set alarms, play music on voice command, control smart devices in-home, and stream live music, as they are powered by a virtual assistant.

For instance, according to statistics from Amazon Alexa 2020, nearly 53.6 million Amazon Echo speakers (smart speakers) were sold in 2020 which increase to 65 million in 2021. Therefore, the increasing adoption of smart devices will drive the growth of the music streaming market.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning in music streaming devices are the key trends in the music streaming market. Technologies like artificial intelligence and Machine learning enhance the music streaming experience by increasing storage and improving the search recommendations, improving the overall experience.

For instance, in January 2022, Gaana, an India-based music streaming app introduced a new product feature using artificial intelligence to enhance the music listening experience for its listeners. The app will modify music preferences using artificial intelligence to suit a person's particular occasion or daily mood.

In May 2022, SoundCloud, a Sweden-based music streaming platform, announced the acquisition of Musiio, for an undisclosed amount. Through this acquisition, SoundCloud aims to strengthen its capabilities in AI and identify upcoming music trends and talent by leveraging its vast data. Musiio is a Singapore-based music technology start-up that uses AI for music streaming and automatically tag and identify songs.

The music streaming market consists of sales of music streaming services by entities (organizations, sole traders, and partnerships) that are used to feed audio content directly into the device, personal computers (PC), or mobile devices, without the need of downloading files from the internet. It is offered through a web-based or application-based service. Users can also download music for offline listening and upload their soundtrack to the cloud using these services.

The main types of services provided by music streaming are on-demand streaming and live streaming. The on-demand streaming are the service in which a consumer requests the music according to his convenience. In on-demand streaming, music can be rewind, fast-forwarded, or paused as per the consumer demands.

Music streaming offers audio and video content through application-based platform or web-based platform. Music streaming services are provided by revenue channels such as non-subscription and subscription and are used for individual use or commercial use.