Viewing Figures


Music has lost it’s value, TV shows and movies are next.

A while ago, I mentioned how TV box sets have become the new LPs. Fans of particular shows wait for the latest release and rumours start about the next one being the last. It’s exactly how we used to talk about albums from our favourite artists.

Music used to be worth something and that value was based on scarcity. Limited editions, collector’s items, different coloured vinyl, picture discs and foreign import versions all made things cost more. Then music became available online EVERYWHERE and it’s value dropped. First it was downloads, now it’s streaming. Some people NEVER pay for music, to them it has no value at all and the music business is in crisis.

TV box sets used to be valuable, you had to buy them on DVD. Most were only available on pay TV channels and others only stayed on free catch-up services online for a limited time and then moved to paid for streaming services. It’s the same thing with movies.

The old business principle of supply and demand pushed the price up but supply was being artificially manipulated, release dates were being pushed back to create an artificial scarcity.

Now though, easy to access streaming sites (most of them illegal) have just about every TV box set that’s ever been made, available to watch, the minute it’s out. The same is happening with movies. They used to show up in cinemas first, months later you could buy them and a few weeks after that, rent them. Now I can find many movies online that are still in cinemas and stream them in HD for free. It’s not just new films, a quick search and I can find almost any movie or TV show that’s ever been made and watch it for nothing. In retail, there’s a thing called the ‘Long Tail’. The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. The long tail retail economy is being replaced by a “freetail” economy (I just made up that word, “freetail”, I wonder if it will catch on).

The question now is, how long will it be till no one is paying for TV box sets and movies? And how will the makers of this content make any money?

Craic on!

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