Last year was devastating for a lot of businesses, but the early signs are that 2021 is going to be a lot better as the global economy begins to recover.
Some sectors were hit much harder than others in 2020, of course, and it remains to be seen whether or not things can ever get back to normal for them.
Other industries actually thrived over the course of the last 12 months, with the changing way people had to live their lives providing a bump in profits for a significant number of companies.
This year seems set to be a transformative period for many businesses, with the World Bank projecting the global economy to grow by four per cent in 2021, so what are the industries of the future? Let’s take a look at them.
Streaming services were already extremely popular, but during the course of 2020, they exploded in usage as people were stuck in their homes for extended periods. Disney+ launched at the perfect time to take advantage of lockdown conditions, with series such as The Mandalorian striking a chord with Star Wars fans.
Naturally, 2020 was great for Netflix – read our profile of the firm’s founder Reed Hastings here – and the company is investing heavily in new content for the coming year. During the course of 2021, Netflix will release a massive slate of new movies including The White Tiger, The Dig, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, The Kissing Booth 3, and The Woman in the Window.
With cinemas struggling as a result of titles such as the new James Bond flick No Time To Die being pushed back in the schedules multiple times, the future for streaming is very bright.
As well as cinemas, land-based casinos were some of the facilities to be hit hard in 2020. Many of them are yet to reopen their doors as a result of lockdown conditions through last year.
The closure of these casinos opened the door for a rise in online gambling. More people than ever have turned to the internet to play their favorite casino games, such as poker and roulette.
As Jeremy Jackson from Dog Slots says: “2020 was a great year for online gambling companies, brick and mortar casinos can only expect more pressure from their digital counterparts in upcoming years. With advancements in virtual reality online, part of the industry is poised for success in upcoming years.”
VR could mean that online gambling becomes even more popular in the near future.
With restaurants having to rethink their business strategies, food delivery was one of the sectors to rise rapidly in 2020 and this seems certain to be a top industry of the future.
Takeaways were already common around the world, of course, but with more high-end restaurants shifting to a delivery model people have more culinary options than ever before.
One of the big changes of the last 12 months was companies starting to create make-at-home packs for meals such as burgers and pizzas. People are able to get a mix of takeaway comfort and home cooking by assembling their own meals at home from a variety of restaurants.
It is not just food that people are getting delivered to their houses. Some companies have even started to provide cocktail-making kits so that adults can enjoy their favorite tipple from a bar even if they are unable to go out.
Online communication services
With more people working at home, online communication services saw a huge spike in popularity during 2020. It seems certain this will be one of the hottest industries of the future with home working likely to remain a way of life for a lot of traditional office staff.
Zoom was one of the online communication services to win big in 2020. Stocks in the company exploded in value over the course of the year, with its share price up by more than 400 per cent.
For a lot of people, daily life is now a series of Zoom meetings, for both work and play, and while there are alternatives such as Skype, it seems like Zoom is the major player in the industry.
The long-term impact of 2020’s difficulties on the global economy is hard to predict.
But industries like online communication services, food delivery, online gambling and streaming are poised to thrive for a long time to come.