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 customers 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 entire 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.
Online music streaming has also become very popular. Sites such as Pandora, Grooveshark and Spotify 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 devices can access these services anywhere at any time.
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 a large monthly fee for satellite or cable TV, many people use services like Netflix and Hulu to stream tv shows and movies.
The competition in the TV industry to keep viewers and gain ad revenue has pushed many networks to make recently aired episodes available from their website and on handheld Internet enabled devices such as a smartphone.
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.
How has the recent changes effected you and the way you utilize these online entertainment options? I’d love to hear your comments!