Whether your favourite form of entertainment is TV, film, gaming or sports, you’ll be well aware that new technology has transformed the way we consume and connect with the things we love. The entertainment industry has been transformed and keeping up can be mind boggling even for the most tech-savvy amongst us. We’ve taken a closer look at the biggest online entertainment trends of this year to keep you bang up to date.

VR gaming and film

Once something that existed only within the realms of sci-fi, Virtual Reality is slowly but surely becoming a part of our day-to-day lives. The gaming industry is at the forefront of this trend, and VR gaming consoles such as Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR are becoming part of the living room furniture, but VR film is also gaining ground. A VR film experience allows viewers to immerse themselves in the world of a film, but it is proving controversial with filmmakers themselves, who claim it diminishes the director’s vision.

Livestreaming

Livestreaming, sometimes known as livecasting is internet content delivered in real time as it happens. If you have a camera, a computer and an internet connection, you can livestream any event, and there are plenty of platforms to choose from, such as UStream and DaCast. Probably the most popular platform is Facebook Live, which not only attracts individuals but also celebrities, large corporations and even the UK government: you can watch Prime Minister’s Questions on Facebook Live if you want!

Face Filters

Snapchat was one of the first social media platforms to launch face filters and our obsession with them has grown and grown. There is huge entertainment value in swapping our faces, seeing how we’ll look when we’re old and even just adding doggy ears and a nose on a picture to send to friends. Instagram has now jumped on the bandwagon with a series of eight filters that can be added before you take a picture, suggesting that our delight in augmenting our faces isn’t about to stop any time soon.

Online casinos

Online casinos are huge in the entertainment world, and online gambling now accounts for 33% of all gambling in Britain. The most popular online casinos have a variety of themed games, live games and table games, and there are some big prizes to be won whether your preferred way to gamble is joining a game of video poker or playing online slots. Most online casinos offer excellent sign up offers, such as a £10 no deposit bonus, meaning you can have your first flutter without having to pay anything out.

SVOD

Subscription Video On Demand, or SVOD, might feel like an unfamiliar term, but it’s something you probably use everyday. Streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Now TV are all on demand subscription services and they are fast overtaking terrestrial services as the way we watch TV and films, and Netflix has an amazing 103.95m streaming subscribers worldwide. In fact, on demand streaming services are becoming so popular that companies who previously offered their content on existing services are now setting up their own. The most recent of these is Disney, who recently announced that they are pulling all their content from Netflix to launch their own service in 2019. As the popularity of SVOD continues to grow, we can expect other media companies to launch their own direct-to-consumer services in the near future too.

eSports

eSports have a huge worldwide following and are growing rapidly, but what are they? For the uninitiated, eSports, or electronic sports, is the term used for competitive computer gaming, usually between professional gamers. Video games have long been most at home in living rooms and bedrooms, but eSports tournaments now take place all over the world in huge arenas with large crowds. Players become famous just as they do in more traditional types of sport and fans from all over the world will tune in online to watch their favourite players in action. Such is the popularity of eSports that football clubs such as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have started signing up players of the virtual Fifa game, as digital gaming is where the next generation of fans will come from. The revenue of eSports is expected to be £365m this year, and it has a global audience of 385 million, so it looks like this entertainment trend isn’t going anywhere.