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.
Music sites and applications like iTunes or Amazon’s MP3 Store allow people to buy single songs rather then the whole album. Some musicians allow individuals to purchase songs directly from them on their websites and many simply give their songs away. This new structure for shopping for music has caused many independent and chain stores to close and the power of record companies to shrink. The price of full albums has gone down, but the price of concert tickets and merchandise has risen to compensate for lower album sales.
Streaming music sites such as Pandora and Grooveshark allow for free customized radio with few commercials. The music is available on most Internet connected devices anywhere at any time. Many people use these services to “try out” music before purchasing and often times use them instead of purchasing new music.
EBook Readers are also a hot item these days. Digital versions of books can purchased for much less than their physical counterparts found in brick and mortar bookstores. Because these digital books can never sell out, sites like Amazon have seen tremendous success, whereas classic shops like Borders are closing their doors forever.
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.