TimesTalks: The Future of Entertainment Is Now


Dec. 9 2020, Published 7:00 p.m. ET

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In 2020 we’ve redefined entertainment. Due to the pandemic, theaters and studios have been in disarray, family bingo is now on Zoom and musicians like the Weeknd are streaming virtual-reality concerts to millions of fans. Which of these trends will outlast the lockdowns and social distancing? Who are the most exciting innovators, and will legacy brands be able to pivot quickly enough?

TikTok is the envy of the entertainment and social media industries. Since the beginning of 2020, its monthly downloads in the United States have outpaced those of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. It has launched stars, set trends, even played a role in the election — all thanks to its uniquely powerful community. TikTok’s creator community director Kudzi Chikumbu joins The New York Times’s Taylor Lorenz to discuss new content creation trends, the acceleration of changes in social media consumption and how companies can curate their own communities.

In March the world’s most famous musicians found themselves back where they started: in their bedrooms. With concert venues and arenas closed, the likes of John Legend and the Weeknd turned to Adam Arrigo, the C.E.O. and cofounder of Wave Entertainment. By harnessing the powers of gaming, virtual reality and live entertainment, Wave creates a uniquely engaging new live concert experience — one that’s interactive and social, streamed across such platforms as YouTube, TikTok and Roblox. Millions of people have streamed Wave’s events, and it’s only the beginning of their plans to redefine the home concert experience, as Arrigo will discuss with New York Times Pop music critic Jon Caramanica.


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