The entertainment environment is the setting in which audiences interact with entertainment provided by entities with the various entertainment industry sectors and sub-sectors. The entertainment environment surrounds us, after all the very diverse entertainment offering provided by the entertainment industry can be found almost anywhere. There are nine distinct entertainment environments, these are as follows: the contained resort environment; the coastal environment; the cruise ship environment; the home environment; the mobile environment; the online environment; the rural environment; the transport environment; and the urban environment. These environments are all unique in their nature, either through size, make-up or physical presence (and sometimes a combination of these things). Some types of entertainment are more predominant in particular environments than they are in others, for example nightclubs and theatres are concentrated within the urban environment due to their need to attract custom, and theme parks are more predominantly in the rural environment due to their need for large amounts of land. Each entertainment environment is listed below along with a brief description.
A contained resort is typically targeted towards tourists and consequently these are often found in locations where tourists like to visit. Contained resorts can vary in size from relatively small resorts covering less than a square kilometre such as caravan parks, to mega resorts covering vast distances, such as Walt Disney World Resort. Resorts include an array of facilities including: accommodation, catering facilities, bars, leisure amenities such as swimming pools, and entertainment venues including theaters and nightclubs. The idea being that once there, visitors do not need to leave the resort.
The coastal environment offers a unique geographical landscape in that the land meets the sea or ocean. In Britain the term ‘seaside’ is often used to describe these areas. The sea and particularly beaches attract tourists, and typically in response to this, coastal urban settlements are created to cater for visitors, which often includes an array of entertainment facilities and venues. A unique type of coastal entertainment venue / visitor attraction are piers.
Almost like floating contained resorts, cruise ships consist of accommodation, catering facilities, bars, leisure amenities such as swimming pools, and entertainment venues including theaters, nightclubs, and casinos. On a cruise, visitors are taken to a variety of destinations and often use the ship as a floating resort, so by day they may be out exploring where the ship has ported, and by night making use of the facilities on board the ship as it travels to its next destination.
The term ‘home entertainment’ gained popularity in the 1980s when home stereo units, television and video recorders became both commercially available and affordable. The home environment is media based and consists of the entertainment provision that has been purchased for use in the home.
The mobile (or personal) environment is media-based and is the entertainment that can comfortably be taken virtually anywhere, this includes MP3 players, portable media players, mobile telephones, books, e-book readers and newspapers. The mobile environment is one of the fastest growing environments as more and more media formats shrink to make them easily portable.
This is the only virtual environment, to interact with entertainment in this environment we do not need to physically travel anywhere, but thanks to new mobile technologies, we can now access the internet from almost anywhere. The online environment is classed as an environment in its own right due to the propensity of those accessing it to consider that they ‘went’ online.
This environment is largely devoid of human habitation with a very low population density. This sensitive environment relies on visitation from outside of its own area, which itself can cause conflict between local residents and those seeking entertainment. The rural environment has the advantage that it offers large open spaces, and therefore can cater for entertainment entities that require large amounts of space. These include music festivals, theme parks, and zoos and safari parks.
Densely populated towns and cities predominantly make up this environment that feeds off large populations of visitors from close by, as well as incoming visitors. This is the most concentrated entertainment environment in that it contains the widest variety of entertainment industry entities with representation from every sector of the entertainment industry, from cinemas, museums and theatres, to nightclubs, live music venues and casinos.
Getting from one point to another using a mode of transport can take time, and often during that time those travelling seek a distraction to occupy or entertain them. In-car entertainment systems, which were once non-existent before the car radio became available are now elaborate, and can include MP3 and DVD players. On some buses and trains, radio and television or movies are available, as is wi-fi internet access. Commercial passenger jets have a long established in-flight entertainment program consisting of films, television programs, games and radio.