Over the past few weeks, the world has definitely changed. As the global outbreak of COVID-19 continues to worsen, more and more people are staying home, not just during their off-hours but during work hours as well. Non-essential businesses are closed worldwide, including all entertainment companies, such as movie theaters, venues, and bars. As the scenario worsens, the entertainment industry has made changes to the way it works in order to make the experience of living and working at home a little better.
Venues and Bars
Local artists, including musicians, dancers, and drag performers, rely on bars and local venues to pay their bills. With these locations being closed, the venues and performers are working together to bring unique experiences to their fans. Many of these groups are doing live streams, either from the venues themselves or remote locations, and making them available through the larger fanbase of the venues. They accept tips to help keep the local scene going.
Movie studios schedule their theatrical releases sometimes years in advance of the films' releases. For those who have films scheduled to release in the next few months, or that released just before the shutdown, decisions have had to be made. Without theaters to show the movies, they have looked at new ways to distribute those films. As a result, a number of high profile movies, including Pixar's Onward, DC Entertainment's Birds of Prey, and Disney's Frozen II are all releasing on digital well ahead of the planned schedule. Some are available for standard streaming, while others are available for rental or purchase on platforms like iTunes.
As more things move online, the internet's infrastructure and corporate infrastructures are seeing heavier than normal stresses. As such, the streaming companies, who are seeing the largest portion of the increase, are starting to throttle their output. This is happening for a variety of reasons, but mostly because their own networks are not designed for this load. These companies build their networks such that they can handle their customers' standard needs, but no one was prepared for this increase. As streaming companies are also the largest users of internet bandwidth, by reducing the stream quality, they can try and prevent interruptions to other systems being used to keep businesses online.