Friday, September 16, 2011

Full Access: Changes in the Entertainment Industries

Entertainment industries have had to evolve in the past few years as we have gained more access to music, movies and television from online sources. Physical stores are disappearing as these businesses open online stores. Examples of these are Blockbuster, Borders, and, the iconic Virgin Megastore in Times Square. Online storefronts have become a great option for consumers as well as business as there are fewer overhead costs, which give buyers more options for less. Here are some examples of ways that access to entertainment has changed.


Independent and chain music stores have been affected by the increased access to music the Internet provides and many have had to close. Instead of buying whole albums, sites like Amazon MP3 and iTunes allow people to buy single songs for mere pocket change. Musicians have followed suit by selling or giving away their songs on their websites. Music has gotten so affordable that we have started to see the price of concert tickets increase so the record industry can turn a profit.


Another way that people are accessing music more easily is from streaming radio sites like Pandora and Grooveshark. These sites allow for free customizable radio with limited commercials. Many people use this type of service as their main household music source in place of buying music from a brick and mortar shop or even from an online source.

Another hot item that is changing the face of their industry is the eBook. Sites like Amazon sell eBooks for much cheaper than their paper counterparts. Another benefit is that they never sell out and they only weigh as much as the eBook reader they are stored on. We have seen many local and large chain bookstores close due to this competition.

 

Rather then pay hefty monthly prices for satellite or cable TV, many people opt to stream television and movies from an online source like Netflix or Hulu. The competition in the TV industry has pushed network channels to upload their most recently aired episodes onto their websites.

 

Gaining instant access to our entertainment through the Internet has made it easier and cheaper for both the consumer and businesses. You have probably heard that Netflix recently raised their prices and split their service offering into a streaming only offer or a physical DVD offer. Will this change help or hinder them? We will have to wait and see.  The outcome of this experiment may just entice other online business to follow Netflix’s example and we may see more prices rise.

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