The Entertainment and Leisure sector ranks below the average. The resolution pillar and the perceived price level are the main factors pulling the score down. Entertainment and Leisure is one of three sectors recording an overall deterioration compared with the 2019 results.
For the first time, Spotify featured in the study and immediately took the sector lead. The streaming service ranked among the top 10 brands overall. Currently, Spotify is trying out a new business model. The original version was based solely on premium membership and advertising; now studios or musicians pay the company to place their works in the top positions in the application. Spotify has also launched the Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) advertising platform, enabling personalized advertisement insertion into podcasts. Doing so will allow the advertising reach to be measured and therefore ensure better targeting. Thus far, this innovation has only applied to podcasts that Spotify produces.
Spotify customers like both the content (genres and choice) and customer support. The service suits those able to communicate in English: “The operator helped me to fix my password, which I’d forgotten, and to reset it. We spoke English and sorted out everything.” (Man, 26)
The biggest climber in the sector is Netflix (moving up 57 places in the overall rankings to second place in the sector). Customers acknowledge the good entertainment selection, ease of use and flexibility; for instance, the streaming service enables subscriptions to be cancelled quickly and problem-free. “Contact with customer support hasn’t been needed at all so far, and the services work very well. There aren’t any problems with the app or when Netflix is used in the browser. The way they communicate with me via e-mail works fine.” (Woman, 18)
The pandemic also had a noticeably contradictory impact on the sector. On the one hand, cinemas closed, whereas on the other hand interest in home entertainment soared. For instance, Netflix doubled the number of users who opened an account with it in the first quarter of 2020 (compared with the end of 2019). The share price of the streaming service has risen by more than 30 per cent this year. Spotify saw user growth of more than a third in the first quarter of 2020.
“We bought festival tickets. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck, and we couldn’t go. Ticketmaster is quick to supply ticket information. It does this in advance and gives you suitable choices and ticket options. I didn’t even have to contact them.” (Woman, 25)
O2 TV: “I set up internet access and TV with them, and I’m satisfied with their services. Right now, in the coronavirus period, they threw in some other channels as an added extra, which is great when the children – and we adults – are at home.” (Woman, 42)
“I regularly place bets with Sazka. I downloaded the Sazka mobile app and it has proved to be excellent. Just a few clicks and it’s done, whether I’m depositing money in the betting account or actually placing a bet. And if I win, the money gets credited to my betting account automatically. I think that the app is fantastic.” (Woman, 30)
The surge in demand for online services has put a strain on internet networks; in response, Netflix has obliged by complying with a request from the European Commission to reduce streaming quality to ease network pressure. Viewers enjoyed other online services in the form of a special “COVID-19 offer”. During the “coronavirus holiday”, the O2 TV service offered users several channels free or with a discount, or included additional channels with existing packages.
The crisis hit cinemas, theatres and bookmakers extremely hard; the demand for online betting did not make up for lost betting shop revenues. Cinemas and theatres had to refund tickets for cancelled screenings and performances. Some non-digital organizations have made efforts to go digital and provide customers with services that they could enjoy from the comfort of home: “I’m a guide myself, so I visit the Horšovský Týn chateau website and follow what’s happening. What’s more, during this pandemic, many are taking online tours, even just a five-minute look around the rooms, which is great. I think it’s a good advert to attract customers when the chateau opens.” (Woman, 28)
The Sazka bookmaker bets on offline help: its company cars were used to deliver personal protective equipment, tests and other medical equipment to social care providers and their clients.