Depending on your age, you may have already witnessed massive changes throughout the entertainment industry. Cassettes became CDs, Beta became VHS and DVD is slowly becoming Blu-Ray. Suddenly there were mp3s and the cloud. Shows were on demand. Cable was all but dead. Streaming is here to stay. Atari became Nintendo and Nintendo became Genesis. Many adults today have never seen the floppy disk that represents “save” on computer applications. The icon is little more than a relic of times past.
All these changes however, represent physical design. What you are less likely to notice are changes behind the scenes. Did Napster destroy the recording industry? Did Netflix kill Blockbuster? As new ways of accessing and enjoying entertainment become prevalent the entire industry shifts. Here are three ways technology is still changing the entertainment industry today:
Big Blockbuster Hits Are Dying
The art of cinema movies is fast becoming lost. As entertainment becomes on-demand more Americans are choosing to stay home instead of heading to the theater to spend ten dollars on popcorn. Popcorn can, of course, be popped and consumed at home for significantly less. According to Newsweek, the number of people who headed out to the theater in 2014 was the lowest seen in the past two decades. To add to Hollywood’s despair, most Americans are streaming movies once they come out on video, not purchasing them for over twenty dollars a flick. Hollywood is thus catering towards an overseas market. The result? Animation and corny action film remakes. While the odd science fiction adventure may get through, you can expect this general trend to continue.
Amazing Television Show Are Being Born
As Semisonic taught us in 2009: every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end. The end of cinema has marked the birth of television. A-list celebrities are jumping the cinema ship for Amazon, Netflix and HBO. Game of Thrones, Westworld, Battlestar Gallactica, Lost and the like are making up for our loss of the classic film. Their budgets are large. Their writers are epic. Their cinematography is stunning. Their actors are top-notch. You also get significantly more bang for your buck – enjoying hours of entertainment with well-developed characters.
Art Production is Accessible
If you’ve ever taken a video editing class, you may have been surprised by how much can be accomplished with a student version of Adobe Premiere Pro. Maybe you’ve even thought about developing your own creative side-hustle. Independent films can be produced with less money and by more people than ever before. Paranormal Activity was produced for $15,000. Primer was produced for $7000. For reference, an episode of Game of Thrones costs a million dollars. This isn’t limited to film. Recording artists can make high-quality demos in a home-built studio. The recording industry has been bemoaning music sharing, but without the necessity of expensive equipment to produce high-quality music the entire industry has become little more than marketing. We are not quite at the point where pop stars are self-made, but this is a distinct possibility in the near future.
It is the mantra of creative destruction that the old must make way for the new. No one misses blowing into their video games to make them work, and few people complain about having access to their documents from any device. As our technologies continue to improve, we can expect more changes in entertainment. The landscape is fluid, and it should be.
This piece comes to us from one of our talented content contributors, Erin Wildermuth. Her bio is below and if you would like to work with us you can email us here!
Erin Wildermuth is a communications professional turned scientist. She enjoys scuba diving, problem solving, and reading science fiction.