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Full Access: Changes in the Entertainment Industries

Business Technology | September 16, 2011

In the past few years, our options for accessing entertainment have grown drastically. This increased access has changed the way these industries function. Brick and mortar stores like Blockbuster, Borders, and even the iconic Virgin Megastore in Times Square are disappearing as people head online to get their entertainment. Many companies are going this route because there are fewer overhead costs associated with running a business primarily online. The benefit for the customer is that there are now more and cheaper options available. In general, with increased options, prices are driven down across the board.

It wasn’t always easy to buy single songs from a new music album.  If the song you wanted wasn’t released as a single, you would have to buy the total album. Thanks to sites like iTunes and Amazon MP3, people can now buy any single song from a record. Musicians also allow people to purchase their songs on their websites and many choose to give their songs away. Many independent and chain music stores have been forced to close due to these new options for purchasing music. The industry as a whole has changed as well and record labels have had to raise concert ticket and merchandise prices in order to turn a profit.

Online music streaming has also become very popular. Sites such as Pandora and Grooveshark  are free and let people customized their stations with less commercials than traditional radio stations. If you chose to upgrade, you can get your music with no commercial interruptions. Many people use these services to test out music prior to buying it and sometimes choose them in place of purchasing music. Most Internet connected gadgets can access these services anywhere at any time.

The face of books has changed in the past couple years as well. Thanks to eBooks, people can buy digital books directly from sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble and have them instantly downloaded onto their handheld device. The prices of these digital books are usually significantly cheaper and the online stores never sell out.

 

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.

 

Instant access to all of our entertainment needs via the Internet has greatly decreased the cost we used to have to pay for these services. Recently, however, it’s been big news that Netflix has raised their prices and segmented their service offering. There is a lot of speculation about whether this will help or hinder them. Their success with this change over the next few months will most likely determine if other online entertainment services will follow suit. Only time will tell.


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