Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Future of Wrestling in the Age of Streaming

The wrestling industry is constantly changing, and in the age of streaming, the industry is changing more than ever before. With more and more fans watching wrestling online, promotions must adapt their strategies to reach these new audiences.

One of the biggest changes that streaming has brought about is fans having better access to independent promotions. For example, if a promotion is based in a remote area of Japan and has small crowds at its shows, thanks to Japan-based livestreaming service TwitCasting, the promotion's events can be enjoyed by fans all over Japan and worldwide. And they can be watched on demand, giving fans more flexibility in how they watch wrestling. An event doesn't have to be watched live, instead, it can be done at a time that is most convenient to the fan. This leads to increased engagement and loyalty among fans.

Streaming is also changing how wrestlers interact with fans. In the past, wrestlers were limited to interacting with fans at live events or through traditional media outlets. However, streaming services give wrestlers the opportunity to connect with fans on a more personal level through social media and live chat. Currently, Twitch is the service of choice for many wrestlers who do this type of interaction, but as streaming continues to grow in popularity, it's a safe bet that platforms similar to Twitch will become occupied by wrestlers as well.

With the number of video streaming users worldwide expected to amount to 4.6 billion users by 2027, it's clear that it will have a major impact on the future of wrestling. Promotions that are able to adapt to the changing landscape will be the ones that succeed in the years to come. Although it's impossible to know exactly what the future of wrestling in the age of streaming will look like, I have opinions regarding what it should look like.

More wrestlers should create streaming channels on platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and TwitCasting, to further grow their personal brands and social media followings. They could host gaming streams, have Q&As, and even show a glimpse of their personal lives if they choose to do so.

Promotions that are on streaming platforms should put as much effort as possible into publicizing its product, so that as streaming continues to grow, the promotion will take full advantage of that growth, as opposed to getting lost in the shuffle as more promotions join the platforms.

In the future, wrestling promotions should use streaming technology to enable AI applications. For example, AI could create personalized viewing experiences, tracking fan preferences and generating personalized viewing experiences. When a fan wants to watch wrestling on a streaming service, they could be recommended specific matches based on matches that the fan has previously watched. AI could even allow fans to interact with wrestlers and each other via social media in real time.

Also, streaming combined with AI could enable a fan to feel like they are at a wrestling event while they are watching it at home. AI would generate real-time crowd noise synchronized with the action in the ring, helping to create the same excitement and energy that is like being at a live event. Virtual reality (VR) technology could create a 360-degree view of the wrestling ring, giving fans the feeling that they are at ringside, like a ringside manager or valet. Fans would feel like they are a part of the show.

Combining streaming and AI could also help wrestlers. Personalized training programs could be created for them, taking the wrestlers' strengths and weaknesses into consideration, and the program could also track their progress and identify areas for improvement.

Promoters would be able to take advantage of the streaming/AI combination as well. They could customize the production values of their events, choosing the set, lighting, and music that they want to use.

As streaming continues to become a larger presence in the wrestling industry, the promotions and talents who stay ahead of the curve will be the ones that remain relevant and successful in the years to come.

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