The article, “How’s the Media Industry These Days? Confused,” perfectly summed up what we in the Journalism School already know. The media industry went digital and its financial future is uncertain because of rapid changes in consumer behavior and technological innovation. However, the author, Walt Mossberg, contextualized the information and provided examples that made me realize how big of a deal this uncertainty is for the creators and investors, while also calling out billionaire Mark Cuban — a win-win.
With an example about the music industry, the author really got his point across. In a matter of a decade, the CD business crumbled at the hands of Pandora and Spotify. Not even iTunes could soften the blow of the digital era’s punch. From a user’s perspective, services like Spotify and Pandora are fantastic because you pay a fraction of the cost you would on iTunes or at a record store (if those still exist). However, they evade any financial responsibility to record labels because they don’t fall under federal regulations. I had never thought about it that way. No wonder Taylor Swift broke up with Spotify; I would to if I were an artist.
I liked this article for another reason. It called out Mark Cuban, the Simon Cowell of “Shark Tank,” by referring to his opinion of the media industry’s future as “bombastic contrarianism.” Basically it’s saying that while sitting up on his high horse, Cuban disagreed to disagree. The article reports that Cuban said, “too many assumptions about consumer preferences are based on the habits of young people. ‘The older you get, . . . the less you’re willing to work to consume content.'”
I’m going to go ahead and call him out too. Consumer preferences should be based on the habits of young people because we represent a good portion of consumers and our actions today are indicative of our actions in the future. If I “work to consume content” now, via Netflix and HDMI cables, I doubt I will consider it a hassle in the future. It will more or less be second nature. I mean, how has this billionaire not heard of On Demand movies, DVR, Smart TVs or Apple TV? I think the traditional TV landscape has already changed, Mark.