How Location Analytics & GIS May Save Entertainment Industries

How Location Analytics & GIS May Save Entertainment Industries

Entertainment and recreation are always evolving. But in 2021 as we look to the remainder of the decade ahead, it’s fair to say that some of the industries in these categories face particularly big changes. A combination of ever-increasing digitization and fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is poised to significantly alter the ways in which people choose to amuse themselves.

Some of the changes and challenges we face may permanently alter some aspects of entertainment and recreation. In certain instances though, GIS, location analytics, and even interior mapping may just help to offer solutions. To illustrate why this appears to be the case, we’re going to focus on difficulties in three specific industries: live sports, cinema, and casinos.

Live Sports

Problems with live sports have been well documented since long before the coronavirus. For several years now, the emergence and improvement of streaming options have led to migration away from stadiums and toward couches. All around the world, major leagues and organizations have made it easier for their fans to enjoy excellent viewing experiences from home, while stadium ticket prices (and concession and merchandise prices) have risen. This has led to such a decline in attendance that some professional sports teams are even rethinking their stadiums. NPR did a report in 2019 noting that an American professional baseball team had even torn out seats due to waning attendance.

Naturally, COVID-19 didn’t help matters, as it essentially drove fans out of stadiums for the better part of a year in much of the world. But now there’s talk of some more permanent changes brought on by the pandemic that could have negative implications for live sports attendance as well. A fascinating piece at The Atlantic recently theorized that “superstar cities” are in trouble, and that the remote-work culture the pandemic forced upon us could ultimately lead to rural migration. There are some positive implications of this (and it’s something folks in GIS may well end up tracking). But it would in theory be a devastating blow to primarily urban-centered sports teams already struggling to fill seats.


Cinema has essentially faced the same problems that live sports have. Alternative options — namely, home streaming — have simply become so convenient that more and more people have been opting to skip the theater (and the high ticket and popcorn prices) and stay home. This in turn has even begun to shape film production, as studios face more difficult decisions regarding what types of films will still draw live audiences, and which ones are better off going straight to streaming (or never being made in the first place).

Also like live sports, cinema has been decimated by COVID-19. There might be less of an issue connected to long-term urban-to-rural migration. In fact, it could even be that we’ll see some smaller cinemas opening in less populated areas where entertainment options are limited. But in 2020 some of the biggest cinema chains in the world had to shut down locations, and the outlook moving forward is uncertain at best.


Casinos are dealing with some of the same issues, made worse by the fact that online casino gaming (as an alternative to in-person options) is continually improving even more rapidly than film or sports streaming. In the early days of online casinos, sites basically offered straightforward poker and blackjack games and basic slots. Over the years though, game offerings have diversified and improved significantly. Poker rooms are lively and social. There are numerous variants of classic games like blackjack and roulette. Numerous major sites now offer video game-like slots, and the Foxy Games platform has all but reinvented the same games as slot-and-bingo hybrids. Throw in mobile compatibility and a potential future in VR, and there’s no end in sight for online casino innovation.

The variety and quality of these games have already drawn many away from live casinos and toward the internet. And once again, the COVID-19 interruption and a possible migration out of major cities (and perhaps away from packed vacation destinations) won’t help.

GIS & Location Analytics Assistance

The problems just outlined can seem almost fatal to the related industries, at least regarding live participation. From a certain angle, it is difficult to imagine sports stadiums and cinemas regularly reaching full capacity again, or major casinos catering to dense crowds of gamers. People simply have more convenient, safer, and in some cases better options. At the same time though, these industries aren’t going to accept all of this without a fight. And some of their most effective weapons against these changes may well be GIS and location analytics.

First and foremost, standard location analytics can help businesses to map out demographics and trends in order to identify new sites where live entertainment locations may have better luck. In the past, these industries have often been able to open venues and expect customers to come to them. Moving forward, sports organizations building new stadiums, cinema companies looking to regain business, and casino owners hoping to broaden their reach are likely to put more effort into picking spots based on analyzed, mapped-out community activity. They will use location analytics and GIS to identify and observe what areas there are where live, in-person attendance is still most likely.

Some of the same practices can also help the same types of businesses make the most of existing locations — once the pandemic has passed, at least. At that time, if operational stadiums, cinemas, and casinos are having trouble meeting their attendance needs, they will be able to conduct similar analytics practices to determine what kinds of audiences they’re really catering to. As an example of how this can help, a professional sports team may be able to recognize that it’s lost a disproportionate number of young fans. It could then assess habits of area residents to determine how to address this problem. If older generations in the area are active, the team could take steps to make its games more welcoming to said generations (perhaps scheduling earlier games, simplifying stadium access, and so on). On the other hand, if signs indicate younger people can be brought back (say via ticket discounts, attendance perks, etc.), the team could act accordingly.

Building on that last idea, some of these types of businesses may also be able to make use of the same indoor mapping practices we’ve discussed before with regard to more ordinary businesses. Generally, this sort of effort has to do with making office environments more comfortable and efficient. But stadiums, casinos, and to a lesser extend cinemas can also do interior mapping in order to identify and address any inefficiencies, as well as maximize what customers like most. Any little edge will help.

We will see in time if these industries survive in their current form, or even find new ways to thrive. It’s by no means a sure thing. If they do though, there’s a good chance that location analytics and mapping practices will have something to do with it.

Categories: Technology


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    Togel Singapore 4 March, 2021, 20:59

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and
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    The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy I found this in my search for something relating to this.

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