Entertaiment is a broad activity that has evolved to encompass many forms. It can be individualized for an individual to enjoy alone, such as in the consumption of pre-recorded entertainment products; shared between two people, as in the dining experience; or produced for a mass audience, as in a spectacle. It can also have a serious purpose, such as in ceremonies, religious festivals, or satire.

Bates and Ferri (2010) argue that entertainment is an objectively understood activity that involves communication between text and audience, comes from external stimulus, offers pleasure, requires an audience, and occurs in a passive form.