Six Ways Technology Has Changed The Entertainment Industry In The Last Decade

Technology has left its mark on just about every current job industry. The biggest differences for the entertainment industry, within the past decade, revolve around social media, movie marketing, and digital technology. Here are six of the most major changes that have happened in the past decade:

Social Media

While it may seem like Facebook has been around forever, college students remember when it was released in 2004. There used to be a time when it was mandatory to have a college email address to set even up an account. Twitter and Instagram are babies in comparison, released in 2006 and 2010. Today, anyone with a computer can reach out to their favorite celebrity, and the can respond to you personally. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more have allowed everyone in the entertainment industry to be more connected with their fans. Likewise, articles trailers are quickly shared to spread the word about new movies and events.

R&B mixtapes

Although it wasn’t uncommon for aspiring rappers to try to get their demo tapes to record labels or their favorite artists, well-known rappers and R&B singers have also leaked their own music or created mixtapes. The reasons vary from throwaway tracks to needing listener feedback directly from the fans. However, until a few years ago, it was almost always rappers who were releasing free music. But now R&B singers, such as Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Tank and Keke Palmer, have made that leap. Actors who are trying to make the leap from television screens into the music world have released YouTube and SoundCloud R&B songs. Two of the most notable actors who’ve done so include HBO’s “The Wire” actors Tristan Wilds and Jermaine Crawford.

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Digital Downloads

Digital downloads

Although Shawn and John Fanning and Sean Parker got into a lot of trouble for releasing and sharing free music from June 1999 to July 2001 on Napster, it did light the fire for the digital music industry. iTunes, Rhapsody, and Pandora went from selling individual singles to membership programs that would let people listen to full albums for free for a limited time or snippets to purchase in full. While bootleg CDs increase as digital music increases, loyal fans continue to purchase the legitimate version or occasionally buy albums in stores.

Animated movies

The level of animation we have today has made the old way of animated films look amateurish. No longer are animal characters drawn with straight lines and resemble comic book flipbooks. Now when they walk in movies, four blows, and they blink. Mocap software has made it easier to record a live motion to be used for 3D recreation, which makes action scenes and different characters in movies much more realistic and exciting.

Deejay replacement

While VH1 took over BET’s talent reality series “Master of the Mix,” it’s almost surprising to see deejays come to a performance with records in their hands. B side and A side records have transitioned from cassette tapes to CDs to mp3s and m4as.

Movies by mail

Although people still go in droves to see films they’re interested in, the evaluation process from 1997 to now is whether it’s worth waiting for Netflix. With the dwindling number of Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores, the movie industry continues to make money, but the transition may vary from ticket sales to demand mail-in DVD copies.

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Depending on the entertainer, technology can either help or hurt them. Beyonce’s record-breaking iTunes sales are a primary example of how the digital equation has helped performers. However, the average movie and most other music CDs would fail miserably without prior advertising. While executives continue to figure out ways to still be profitable in a digital world, one thing is for sure: technology has made entertainment products more convenient for customers.


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