We’ve all heard how peer to peer music sharing sites are keeping dollars out of artist’s bank accounts. Or maybe we know someone who works in publishing who is throwing up their hands at how sites like Amazon are choking the industry, making it impossible for them to compete. Hollywood would like you to know that downloading pirated movies is pretty much the same as snatching a handbag or stealing a car. So everyone is agreement. Something has to be done, before our creative industries are submerged completely by cut-rate imitations. Right?
What if we told you the obliteration of these industries is not nigh? That actually, our creative industries are steadily growing, and that far from being a death knell, the internet is proving to be a bastion of opportunity for artists and those who enable them?
A report published by Floor64 (and proudly sponsored by us here at Engine) highlights some pretty fascinating research which shows that our entertainment industries have not only been thriving over the last few years despite the biggest recession since the Great Depression - they have been expanding.
Take the music industry, for example. Ok, true, the era of the rock star might be over. Big music execs no longer have the last word on who is meteorically risen to the ranks of the famous, and when. On the other hand, what we have now, is more. More artists producing more quality product, more platforms for those artists to market themselves on, more opportunities to create business models that are innovative and successful. More successful than you might think. From lowering production costs, using crowdfunding, or offering up a “pay what you think is fair” payment structure, there are several non-traditional methods which have garnered incredible success, and which co-authors Masnick and Ho have found very interesting case studies for.
So yes, there is reason for people in traditional businesses in these industries to be feeling the pinch. But by protecting the interests of these players, we’d be jeopardizing the prospects of the industry itself, of the artist, and of the consumer.
This report is worth your time. Read it, share it, comment.