Thinking About a Business Degree? Try an Entertainment Business Degree…

L.A. Film School Student life

Specializing in niche areas of the entertainment business industry

You’ve probably heard a lot about how the digital world has changed the entertainment industry—from digital film to streaming, to sound and recording, and especially CGI and VFX. Yes, the change in the creative side of entertainment has been huge. But what about the business side?

As technology advances and people expect to have streaming video on-demand (SVOD) at the highest quality, the need for entertainment business professionals has only grown. 

The future of entertainment business marketing and technology

One of the biggest industry changes we are seeing today is specialization, says Mac Torluccio, program director of The Los Angeles Film School’s Entertainment Business Program. Many entry-level jobs are hyper-specific, he says, and many of them are focused on marketing. Torluccio has former entertainment business students who have found themselves working jobs where they are experts on a single task—like knowing which trailers to release at what time and on what platform. 

According to Deloitte’s media and entertainment outlook, in the more mature U.S. market, subscription churn averages around 35%. Providers are under pressure to keep producing hit content, get it in front of the right audiences, figure out how to keep subscription prices low enough for a given market, and determine how much advertising is needed to subsidize operating expenses and subscription costs.

Entertainment business professionals are asking questions like: When and where will a trailer be released? How many trailers need to be created? How many TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter ads need to be released to keep people engaged in the build-up toward a summer blockbuster? What platform will be the most effective for each specific target audience? Should we use more infographics or videos? 

These examples represent the many questions that, even just 15 years ago, were not even considered. 

With so many platforms for marketing comes a need for specialized teams, and the hiring trends reflect that. Studios now have marketing teams working on a specific platform. Understanding the best user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) to make that marketing effective and gripping. Studios are hiring more tech developers and increasing their marketing teams across the board. 

Where has the entertainment industry evolved to keep up?

It’s easy to think of the people who create a movie as, well, the creative team. While this creative side is essential, without an entertainment business team behind them, nothing happens. 

Business has always been a part of entertainment. Even back in the Vaudeville days, a singer or performer needed an agent to book venues. A new film needed a production team to market the film and sell it to movie theaters for people to see. Business has been around entertainment for as long as the industry has been making money. 

But what has changed for the individual in the entertainment business? Let’s take a look at three major ways: 

  • A need for tech experience. Many jobs today involve a higher understanding of certain software and technology. It is vital to have software skills/information technology as part of your resume. Many jobs in marketing and business require a working knowledge of social and video sharing platforms, email marketing, and e-commerce to name a few. 
  • Increased online marketing experience. Every aspect of entertainment business is connected to marketing. From lawyers to agents to project coordinators, if you don’t understand the best ways to present your project or studio on social media, you’ll find yourself looking for a new position pretty quick. 
  • The ability to change with the times. Gender equality, representation of minorities, streaming, gaming—so much has changed, and it’s only going to keep changing. Understanding the shifts and movement in the creative side of entertainment is essential to staying on top of the business side. Once you take a position at a major studio or even a small Kickstarter studio, be prepared to learn something new every day. 

As the need for an understanding of what it means to provide entertainment in the 21st-century increases, all studios, big and small, are learning to roll with it. Adapting to the fast changes in technology, virtual work environments, and an increase in streaming platforms are the key ways to finding success. 

So far, it looks like the major studios are doing a good job of keeping up. But as more streaming services create their own content (think original series on Hulu and Netflix), they’ll have to continue to adapt and roll with the changing tide, primarily by hiring new minds to join their entertainment business teams.