Unpacking Entertainment Trends in the UK for 2023

The entertainment landscape in the United Kingdom has experienced a dramatic transformation throughout 2023. From the powerful presence of streaming services to the unexpected revival of cinemas, the way the British consume entertainment is ever-evolving. Let's embark on a journey to discover the entertainment shifts and trends shaping the UK's culture this year.

Streaming Services Take the Throne

As more households than ever cut the cord on traditional broadcasting, platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime have found themselves in the spotlight. Not only have they continued to attract subscribers with gripping original content, but their investment in British production showcasing local stories and talents has further solidified their position in the hearts of UK viewers. Take, for example, the rise of British crime themed series like “The Peaky Blinders” or historical dramas like “The Tudors”. These are not just gaining traction locally but are also finding audiences globally, underscoring the universal appeal of British storytelling.

Moreover, this global traction has led to a soft power influence, allowing a form of cultural exchange through the screen. Additionally, the cross-border success of these series is also seen as a testament to the high-quality production and compelling narrative style unique to British content, setting a high standard for international storytelling.

The triumph of these streaming services is not just reflected in their subscriber count, but also in the critical acclaim garnered by their original offerings. Beyond the UK, the ease of access to these platforms allows for an extensive global audience, which in turn further enriches the digital viewing experience through diversified content. The beauty of these platforms lies in their ability to not only cross geographical boundaries but also in bringing forth stories from various cultures onto a single, easily accessible medium, further promoting global storytelling trends. This inevitably creates a melting pot of narratives that has a broad appeal, breaking down traditional barriers in content consumption and making the world a smaller place through storytelling.

Rise of the Podcasts

2023 saw podcasts cementing their place in mainstream UK entertainment. With the convenience of consuming content on-the-go and the vast array of niche topics available, it is no wonder that they've seen an explosive rise. From true crime like “UK True Crime” to comedy ones “Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster”, there's a podcast out there for every Brit. One noteworthy trend is the increasing popularity of history and folklore-themed podcasts like “The Folklore Podcast” which offers insights into the UK's rich past. The beauty of this format lies in its accessibility. Whether you're commuting, jogging or just relaxing, there's a podcast episode waiting to captivate your attention.

Gaming Level Up

In the UK, gaming goes beyond consoles and PCs. In 2022, the UK video game market was valued at £7.05 billion. A significant 88% of young adults (16-24) played video games with 29% playing online with unfamiliar peers. Notably, 76% of gamers aged 12-15 engage in online games. However, as age increases, online gaming decreases, plummeting to just 13% for those 65+. Concurrently, the rise of iGaming, especially in the realm of eSports is unmistakable. Recognising eSports' allure, betting platforms now provide some of the best odds online in UK, tapping into a burgeoning market.

The Renaissance of UK Cinemas

Despite initial fears that streaming would herald the end for cinemas, 2023 marked a renaissance for UK movie theatres. What's been the catalyst? A focus on experience, UK cinemas are now more than just a place to watch films. They offer immersive experiences with luxury seating, gourmet dining options and cutting-edge sound and visual technology. The success of films like the latest action-packed thriller “Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One” or the heartwarming animated feature “Elemental” demonstrates that the magic of the big screen is very much alive. The unique communal aspect of watching a film with an audience has rekindled the charm and allure of cinema-going, showcasing a shared societal enjoyment that streaming services cannot replicate.

Music and Festivals: The Comeback

It has been a challenging few years for live music and festivals in the UK, but 2023 has heralded a triumphant return. From the bustling streets of Camden to the sprawling fields of Glastonbury, music has once again become a live, collective experience for Brits. One standout trend has been the resurgence of jazz and blues, with venues across London and beyond hosting soulful nights to packed audiences and with festivals reporting record ticket sales like “Camp Bestival” and the ongoing “Sundown Festival”.


In 2023, the UK's entertainment landscape underwent a dramatic transformation. Podcasts experienced an explosive rise in popularity. Gaming expanded beyond consoles, with eSports gaining ground and online gaming flourishing among young adults. Contrary to initial concerns, UK cinemas staged a remarkable comeback by prioritising immersive experiences. Live music and festivals triumphantly returned, with jazz and blues taking center stage.

In summary, 2023 showcased a vibrant and diverse entertainment landscape in the UK. Streaming, podcasts, gaming, cinemas, and live events all played pivotal roles, with online reviews emerging as a valuable tool for consumers navigating these options. The year underscored the UK's continued prominence in dynamic and accessible entertainment.

By Beata