This blog post article by Ted Gioia explores the extent to which all aspects of the creative industries have been disrupted by digital formats.
The Nostalgic Turn in Music Writing
Are music magazines contributing to the stagnancy of the current scene?
By Ted Gioia
My Comment below:
This reality reflects the change in risk-taking behavior across the creative industries (and I would include media news and entertainment) occasioned by the rise of the digital economy. Revenues and profit margins have been squeezed, even as markets have grown. This puts legacy publishers and distributors in an existential crisis to survive. The response has been to reduce the risk of not surviving by reverting to what worked in the past. In music, reselling the catalog is a low-risk endeavor that yields profits through very low marginal costs. Streaming is a short-term boon for publishers and a long-term disaster for innovative new artists (they now bear all the risk and little of the reward).
In media, it means giving the audience exactly what it wants based on past metrics. So, a cover article on Bruce Springsteen is a sure bet relative to some unknown underground artist or new artistic movement. This can only be rectified by rebalancing the market between creators and consumers (and probably eliminating many of the middlemen or at least only rewarding them for value-added).
Art has become a commodity, but true art can never be a commodity, so the road we are on would mean the death of art. However, I am optimistic that the creative spirit cannot and will not ever die. And, with the proper sustainable model, consumers will willingly pay for the real value in art.