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.
It wasn’t always easy to buy single songs from a new music album. If the song you wanted wasn’t released as a single, you would have to buy the total album. Thanks to sites like iTunes and Amazon MP3, people can now buy any single song from a record. Musicians also allow people to purchase their songs on their websites and many choose to give their songs away. Many independent and chain music stores have been forced to close due to these new options for purchasing music. The industry as a whole has changed as well and record labels have had to raise concert ticket and merchandise prices in order to turn a profit.
Online music streaming has also become very popular. Sites such as Pandora and Grooveshark 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 gadgets 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 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.
The way we access our entertainment has changed drastically thanks to the Internet. Television, books, and music found on the Internet are much more cost effective, but this may change. Recently Netflix altered its model of offering both online streaming and physical DVD rentals and also raised its prices. Many articles have been written speculating whether this will hurt or help their business plan. As we see physical stores disappear and online stores become our only option, we may see more sites follow in the model pioneered by Netflix. We will just have to wait and see.