Who does not like to be entertained? From the young to the old across all age groups, entertainment is something that gives people new reason to live and be happy and healthy. The definition for the term may vary as per an individual’s perspective; technically it is defined as any form of activity that is capable of holding down the interest and attention of a mass audience or one that provides a means of delight and pleasure. Although different people are more attentive towards different aspects of life, the more common forms which have been designed specially for holding down the attention of the general public are more recognizable, namely activities such as dance, drama, music and sports performances. Entertainment is subject to constant evolution and may be adapted for suiting a scale that ranges from performances for global audiences to private entertainment parties.

One of the most important aspects of entertainment happens to be the role of the audience who are capable of turning a simple leisurely activity into or a private recreation moment into one of entertainment. The role of the audience also varies as per the form of entertainment. In cases of sports and games performances, the audiences are required to be more actively involved over the course of the event while for such events as drama, musical performances or films, there is a more passive role adopted by the audience community. Entertainment may also be private or public affairs that involve predetermined scripted and formal activities as in musical concerts and theaters or light-hearted spontaneous events akin to children’s games. Certain entertainment forms have persisted over the years, undergoing significant evolution owing to cultural, technological and fashion alterations in the industry. One may take the example of films and video games that make use of newer forms of media but continue the practice of playing music, telling stories and presenting drama. Dance, film and musical festivals are fast gaining popularity providing for interesting entertainment options for the masses spanning over a certain period of time.

In the past kings and other rulers normally would pay for their own forms of entertainment or in certain instances, arrange for the entertainment of their subjects. The development in technology with the advent of the twentieth century allowed for independent production of entertainment for the audience besides being sold in packaged form by the entertainment industry. Also commonly referred to as Showbiz today, this industry has become sophisticated to the extent that its associated economics is growing as a popular area of academic interest. The film industry is one of the biggest segments of the entertainment industry with Bollywood and Hollywood largely popular on a global platform apart from other European films such as the ones produced in Italy, Spain, France or the United Kingdom. The entertainment sector has been responsible for a spurt in the employment charts with new jobs opening up for composers, musicians and writers. The various sectors in the entertainment industry are also recognized for their contribution through prestigious awards.

The entertainment experience for many has come to be associated with amusement activities creating a common understanding that it is all laughter and fun although many entertainment activities have a strong underlying theme of seriousness. Such a situation may arise in ceremonies, religious festivals, satire performances or other general celebrations. Hence a possibility presents itself that an apparent form of entertainment may eventually be a means for attaining intellectual growth and insight.