"If you believe the data, then one question remains. Why have the more pessimistic predictions not come to pass? One incontrovertible reason is that — contrary to the justifiable fears of a decade ago — people will still pay for creative works. The Napsterization of culture turned out to be less of a threat to prices than it initially appeared. Consumers spend less for recorded music, but more for live. Most American households pay for television content, a revenue stream that for all practical purposes didn’t exist 40 years ago. Average movie-ticket prices continue to rise. For interesting reasons, book piracy hasn’t taken off the way it did with music. And a whole new creative industry — video games — has arisen to become as lucrative as Hollywood. American households in 2013 spent 4.9 percent of their income on entertainment, the exact same percentage they spent in 2000. At the same time, there are now more ways to buy creative work, thanks to the proliferation of content-delivery platforms. Practically every device consumers own is tempting them at all hours with new films or songs or shows to purchase. Virtually no one bought anything on their computer just 20 years ago; the idea of using a phone to buy and read a 700-page book about a blind girl in occupied France would have sounded like a joke even 10 years ago. But today, our phones sell us every form of media imaginable; our TVs charge us for video-on-demand products; our car stereos urge us to sign up for SiriusXM. And just as there are more avenues for consumers to pay for creative work, there are more ways to be compensated for making that work."
Saturday, September 5, 2015
The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t; New York Times, 8/19/15
Steven Johnson, New York Times; The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t: