There’s a huge war between Hollywood/the music industry and Silicon Valley going on. The war mostly is over the problems of distribution and cost, although the MPAA/RIAA lawyers are branding this an issue over intellectual property (it’s really assets because you can’t call Justin Bieber or Britney Spears anything related to intelligence). Generally, the MPAA/RIAA’s sob story over piracy is that if people don’t pay (exorbitant prices) for their content, then they won’t be able to create more content.
However, despite their coked up delusional whine with cheese spin, the bigger issue I see is whether people will continue to demand recycled content. Let’s be honest about Hollywood and the music industry: what original things have they truly created that hasn’t been a remake or a delta in recent years? The really high quality content, imo, (and I do not refer to budget as equaling quality in this equation) is being created by independents, who lack the big marketing dollars, production value and distribution networks to compete on Hollywood and the music industry’s level.
But I think that with various services such as YouTube, Apple’s music store, ustream, etc. the opportunities for content distribution to the masses is slowly but surely going to swallow up the larger media companies’ lunch. If you think about it, everyone is slowly becoming content creators. For instance, Twitter and Facebook provide mechanisms for simple content generation that appeal to everyone. Yes, I mean, when you write a post, share a link, etc., your followers receive that content and consume it. As a result, you actually are taking away from big media (although Facebook can be considered big new media).
The problem is that people aren’t thinking along the lines of content as just being any means of creating information. But that’s what it is. I argue that there is a fundamental paradigm shift going on right now that will basically move distribution completely into the hands of the average person, where high production value is going to not in the consumption of media, but the tools for generating high quality media.
Take commercials for instance. People have become their own advertisers through social media. The few power house marketing companies can produce the big name advertisement, but that really is just consumed at the radio and television level. From a social media viewpoint, we’re able to spread things virally via the Facebooks, Twitters, etc.
So what I think will happen is the slow demise of Big Media in terms of the creation of content and the fracturing of that into more mechanisms of creation. As a result, the important elements for advertisement and media creation will be more in the tools for the average person to use in building up their own form of content as individuals will move from being passive participants to engaging in more active roles.
The thing with Big Media is that they must start accepting this. Even if they refuse to give up their stance on piracy or (over)pricing, their real downfall will be the distribution mechanisms and the enabling of the average person to build content and allow for everyone to become more active participants in that.