Our generation is at the forefront of emerging digital and media mediums, and we too have led the charge against the centralized mainstream media model that has governed the way millions of people before us experienced this social culture. For the vast majority of nations, their media/entertainment industry is one of their most vital economies after finance and/or manufacturing. It is, however, the most volatile to emerging markets and shifts within society, for it is run for and utilised by society 24/7.
“Legacy” media channels, such as television or cinemas, have strong quality filters and a high cost of publishing and accessing content. From the moment cinemas emerged in the 1930’s and television became prominent in the 1950’s, these medium forms have swept away cultural norms decade by decade, influencing the beliefs and concepts of individuals, but not granting these same individuals the power to customize or access freely their content. Whilst television is “free”, it does rely on advertising and sponsorships, which in turn rely on viewer numbers, which in turn rely on individuals finding time to watch shows and be interested in them. It is a connected, centralized mechanism that for nearly 70 years is only now undergoing radical change.
This change comes with the age of the digital economy. A digital economy needs to have media platforms to raise value and capital in, something that is only just coming about within the past decade. We have seen the growing rate to which individuals are happy to pay $8.99 subscriptions for channels such as Netflix or Stan, but won’t dare purchase a $15 movie ticket or $12 album. And why should we? If one can pay a mere $9 through Netflix, they have 24/7 access to a library of content that has never before been as freely available. Instead of spending $45 over 4 months seeing movies, they can pay $36 and have a greater array of choices; all within the comfort of their home.
One of the reasons for this is due to the internet. The only time individuals pay for internet access is to their provider on a monthly basis, much of which is however connected to home phone plans. From there, the content and quality is rarely, if ever, filtered & provides power to the individual as to what they want and when they want it. It is the newspaper, television, cinemas and radio rolled into one- except is is portable, people-powered and has a lower cost.
As Clay Shirky states-
The Internet imposes no barriers to entry, no economies of scale, no limits of supply.
Lastly, “the people formerly known as the audience” as stated by Jay Rosen, modify the flow of content and information. The future of the media content and flow is in it’s early stages today, but as each day goes by, legacy channels see their grasp on audience control slowly prying away from them, and into the hearts and minds of individuals. It is a libertarians paradise.
Stay Classy UOW,
Anderson, C 2004, The Long Tail, Wired, October , Issue: 12.10, accessed 28th August 2015,http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html
Shirky, C 2002, Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing, Clay Shirky’s wrtings about the internet, weblog, October 3rd, accessed 30th August 2015, http://shirky.com/writings/weblogs_publishing.html