It has come to a point where it is almost undeniable that streaming services and video-on-demand providers are taking over the entertainment industry. With Spotify growing steadily each day and Apple Music hitting 30 million monthly subscribers, the ‘old’ music distributors seem to be paying the price (except for vinyl). Music streaming revenue has officially surpassed CD-sales in Belgium for the first time ever.
The same goes for the TV-industry, be it a lot slower. Online ad revenues are growing each year, but mainstream TV still owns the majority of the market. However, video-on-demand services like Netflix make their money in other ways than just from ads. Subscription-based payment models are starting to take over big markets, for example India. And looking at all the investments these companies make, it’s obvious they are making lots of it. Is this the future of media?
Henry Jenkins asked precisely this question in his 2004 article (p.39). With great foresight he wondered how we will be paying for (online) media content in the future. He deliberates if subscription paid webcontent will be the benchmark for the future. Thirteen years later we still can’t be sure about this, but it certainly seems so.
By Victor Berndsen
Jenkins, H. (2004). The cultural logic of media convergence. International journal of cultural studies, 7(1), 33-43.