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Investing in entertainment stocks

While game sales thrive, the movie industry and other companies struggle amid pandemic fallout.

Entertainment stocks can be a playful addition to any portfolio, representing the best of companies Americans use to tune in, tune out and otherwise amuse ourselves. They can be lucrative for investors, though vet your options as the continuing pandemic drags down consumer trends.

What are entertainment stocks?

Entertainment stocks are from companies that fall within the entertainment industry — a subsector of the communication services sector as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard.

These stocks belong to companies that keep the world entertained, spanning forms of at-home and on-the-go amusement across:

  • Film
  • Music
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Video games

Film studios, broadcasting companies, event venues, cable and satellite companies, movie theaters and even bowling alleys and bounce houses all fall within the market’s entertainment sector.

How to invest in the entertainment sector

Invest in the entertainment industry by purchasing stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Individual stocks from companies in the entertainment sector offer the opportunity for a targeted investment — you can pick and choose which businesses you want to back. They can be profitable but volatile, with price fluctuations throughout the trading day.

ETFs offer a more diversified investment opportunity, because they track collections of stocks and offer exposure to a wider swath of companies. They come with greater stability than stocks, but also expense ratios that typically range from 0.03% to 2.5%.

Whether you opt for stocks, ETFs or a combination of the two, you’ll need a brokerage account to invest:

  1. Pick a platform. Compare trading platform features and fees to find a broker that can help you reach your investment goals.
  2. Open an account. Complete applications for web-based brokerages online with basic personal information, like your residential address and Social Security number.
  3. Fund your account. Transfer funds from an external bank account to begin trading.
  4. Select your securities. Filter stocks and ETFs by sector or industry to narrow down your options.
  5. Place an order. Once you’ve found a stock or ETF to purchase, submit your order.
  6. Monitor your investments. Log in to your brokerage account to stay on top of your investments.

What stocks are in the entertainment sector?

Select a company to learn more about what they do and how their stock performs, including market capitalization, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, price/earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio and dividend yield. While this list includes a selection of the most well-known and popular stocks, it doesn't include every stock available.

What ETFs track the entertainment sector?

Major funds that track the entertainment sector include:

  • Global X Video Games & Esports ETF (HERO)
  • Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF (PEJ)
  • Invesco Dynamic Media ETF (PBS)
  • iShares Evolved U.S. Media and Entertainment ETF (IEME)
  • VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK)
  • VanEck Vectors Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO)

Why invest in the entertainment sector?

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies in the entertainment industry are thriving — especially streaming and video game platforms. The US happens to be home to one of the biggest, most prolific film industries in the world, generating a whopping $35.3 billion in revenue in 2019, according to Statista. In fact, movie ticket sales crossed the $1 billion mark in 2019 despite burgeoning competition from streaming services.

The movie industry isn’t the only subcategory of the entertainment sector with a strong performance history. Combined revenue from the global PC and mobile gaming markets for 2020 is estimated at nearly $114 billion, says Statista. Entertainment may be a consumer luxury — but it’s a profitable luxury.

Plus, entertainment stocks offer investors the opportunity to back companies they interact with every day — and there’s something to be said for investing in what you know

What unique risks does the entertainment sector face?

The coronavirus pandemic is having a debilitating effect on many sectors of the economy, with entertainment stocks no exception. While some companies and categories have found a profitable way to navigate the tenuous market conditions, appealing to the needs of consumers stuck at home, other companies are beginning to flounder — and even sink.

Many analysts are optimistic the economy will rebound — and with it, consumer spending habits. But there’s no guaranteed timeline for this recovery, and some companies in the entertainment industry may never bounce back.

It’s also hard to gauge the pandemic’s impact on how we prefer to be entertained. Movie theaters are crippled by the pandemic, leaving streaming services to fight tooth and nail for a slice of the market. It may be many years before we fully grasp the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry, or before movie theaters are packed once again.

Compare trading platforms

To invest, you’ll need a brokerage account. Explore your options below.

Name Product Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee Signup bonus
M1 Finance
Free 1-year trial of M1 Plus
when you sign up for M1 Finance
Invest in your favorite stocks or in curated portfolios with automatic rebalancing.
SoFi Invest
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Get one free stock worth up to $1,000
Open an account
A free way to invest in most equities.
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0 + $0.50/contract
$0 per month
$10 of crypto
Open an account with access to crypto
A platform built for all kinds of traders and all styles of trading
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Free stock (chosen randomly with a value anywhere between $2.50 and $200)
Sign up using the "go to site" link
Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
Stash Invest
Stocks, ETFs
$1 per month
Add at least $5 to your Invest account
Stash is more than an investment app. You’ll have access to tools that can help you become a confident investor.
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0 per month
Download and sign up with; approved accounts receive a free stock slice worth up to $300, selected from 9 popular stocks.
Open an account
Commission-free trading in stocks and ETFs with a social networking twist.

Compare up to 4 providers

*Signup bonus information updated weekly.

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

Bottom line

The entertainment sector has performed well in the past and gives investors a chance to back companies most of us use every day. But time will tell how the coronavirus pandemic continues shaping the way we amuse ourselves.

Explore your brokerage account options to find the account best suited to meet your investment goals.

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