The world is going digital and no industry is exempt. Think of just how many people are gaining access to devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops these days. Not only are these devices becoming cheaper while still being incredibly powerful, but people are gaining more access to faster internet speeds as well. This means that the world practically lives on the internet. It’s undeniable that the internet has drastically influenced how people live their lives and go about their daily tasks. This means that many industries are continuously thinking of ways to integrate themselves within the daily interactions that people have with their devices. Again, no industry is exempt as practically everyone’s main source of information these days really comes from the internet.
Think back to just a decade ago before online streaming really blew up. The majority of people still got most of their TV entertainment from actual television sets and channel providers. These days, people don’t even have cable subscriptions anymore as most people are merely subscribing to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It’s a changing world that’s becoming increasingly dominated by the internet. Of course, a lot of that just has to do with the convenience and the variety that the internet provides. You don’t even have to go that far back to notice these changes in the way that people source their entertainment and consume their media.
During the 2020 global pandemic, movie theaters were forced to shut down in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. This led many movie-hungry consumers to turn towards streaming platforms instead and production studios saw this trend taking place. Many popular film franchises saw straight-to-streaming-platform releases as opposed to the traditional method of premiering at actual cinemas first. It was also the same with land-based casinos. Just because a global pandemic forced casinos to close down didn’t mean that the hungry gamblers of the world just stopped gambling. It’s a multibillion dollar industry and it won’t just stop. Many gambling enthusiasts flocked to digital platforms to play online slots, real money poker games, and live dealer baccarat sessions to name a few.
Given that increase in online consumption, there is also an emerging trend that’s taking place in the validation of these digital products and it comes in the form of a user review. In the past, many people were hesitant to engage in transactions online because they were afraid of getting scammed into fraudulent activities. After all, there wasn’t really any way of validating the legitimacy of these online sellers and dealers… except for user reviews. Essentially, the way that user reviews work is that they offer peer-led validations between internet users.
This user review has become immensely important in the world of internet culture. In the past, movie production studios would hinge on their next moves on the outcomes of reviews from critics and film experts. These days, since user reviews are so rampant and widespread, the very idea of reviewing anything has become so democratized. This is giving more power to consumers to actually review the products that they experience. Think of a channel like YouTube that allows users to either like or dislike videos every day. These likes and dislikes can heavily influence the performance of a particular video. Another example would be online casinos. One of the best ways to validate the legitimacy of a casino is to check if other users have good experiences when transacting with these platforms. It’s the same with products that are being sold on sites like Amazon as well. User reviews can do a lot in helping validate the legitimacy of a seller and the product that they’re actually selling.
One of the greatest gifts of the internet is that it has offered modern society greater access to more information. But more than that, it has offered the average consumer a platform for them to voice out their personal experiences and opinions regarding a digital product. This is why companies and brands are paying closer attention to user reviews. They offer so much more weight in terms of swaying other prospective consumers towards their brand. Ultimately, the professional critic’s voice still matters, but the average consumer is also leveling the playing field.