Is streaming Killing Entertainment?

If you ask me I cannot tell you, I have never been an avid TV watcher. I am not afraid to admit that I am a bandwaggoner when it comes to film and music. The people tell me it is hot via social media or in person, I then check it out. I do work in the entertainment industry and after leaving set one day, my cohorts and I discussed how exciting it is for our show to get picked up by ABC upon completion. The Executive Producer for the show is mature in age and the other team members are in their twenties. When talking to the Producer, she is interested more in getting the show syndicated on major networks compared to my peers who are into streaming.  I am at the age of being in the middle of the generation kicking and screaming to stay relevant amongst the masses and the new Do It Yourself ready to conquer traditions generation, so I can see both sides of the spectrum. 

Traditional mediums where a consumer gets their entertainment has varied widely compared to back in the day. I can remember as a young wipper snapper, Friday nights had the fire TV show line ups, Saturday mornings were for cartoons and video music box and a few other channels had the music on lock. Now, you can watch a 12 episode season in one day compared to the golden ages waiting a week for new content. Listening to new music, you would have to listen to the radio or watch TV at a specific time get the latest videos, now they are not on syndicated mediums anymore either. Actually, you do not have to be sitting down in the comfort of your home, you can be on the go and access all your viewing and listening pleasures from an app on your phone free of charge as long as you have Wi-Fi. As a fan of entertainment as a whole, having more access to content is always a plus for us consumers. 

As a Producer and entertainer, it is dope that I do not have to be a big wig to produce and share content because of the platforms that house them for you. We are moving up in the world if I may say, until I realized how many jobs I have and why I have these many jobs. I do not mind working one bit, I know what I signed up for. I just realized when producing content on syndicated mediums, I can expect royalties compared to streaming platforms. Streaming does pay, do not get me wrong, but it will take me around 1mil streams to touch $10k if I was not paid in advance to create. Reaching 1mil streams is a feat in itself, until I try to buy a house with it. Ok, maybe not a house, but at least enough money to live off of. 

In the entertainment industry, there are not too many artists who are pulling 1mil+ streams on multiple records. Artists are not the only ones who are affected, actors, TV broadcasters and movie theaters are taking a toll on their earnings as well. Social media stars are being rolled out left and right, so there is no need for the Hollywood budget. Netflix and other streaming services are creating original content, costing a subscriber $10 a month, allowing them rid themselves from cable bills. I do see Netflix throwing around some pretty big budgets and they do not plan to slow down. I just want to see how this trend continues.  Streaming is not killing entertainment per say, it is actually making it more accessible for consumers, but the platforms are not designed for the artists.  The mediums we used to get our information from had a monopoly for a huge time in the beginning ages of entertainment, now there is immense competition with artists and mediums. Can we keep up with it all? Can us artists survive this climate? What steps can be taken to secure the bag for artists? For the content creators and performers of original and scripted work, how will you find unique avenues sustain a living in this forever changing industry?

Please let me know!


Thank you for reading,


Phil Murphy