One of the first industries to change drastically as part of the digital revolution was the entertainment sector. In the past, in order to shop for music or movies, we would take the traditional route and buy physical copies of DVDs or CDs whereas these days that is practically unheard of.

High Street Decline

If you were asked for three places where you could access movies, would going to the shop even make it to the list? If the answer is no, you’re amongst the majority.

Despite it being the home of entertainment since 1921, 2018 saw the total decline of the beloved HMV. With customers turning toward streaming services or even piracy, are we surprised at the announcement of their closures?

HMV collapsed into administration for the second time in 2018, according to the Guardian. This involved closing stores and inevitably leaving workers without a job. The effects of the digital impact on entertainment were detrimental to HMV as DVD sales were reported down by 40% in 2018.

However, it is not all over yet. 125 HMV stores remain as crisis talks take place with investors as to whether the business will shut down for good, or try to adapt to the digital age and somehow overcome the lack of demand.

Hugh Venables / <i>HMV store closing down</i>

Hugh Venables / HMV store closing down

Shared Account Culture

Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu may be at the peak of the digital revolution, however, they still face problems.

The way that we shop for our entertainment via these services is by paying a monthly subscription fee. This membership is then linked to one account – supposedly used by one viewer.

Unfortunately for Netflix in particular, once one account’s password is shared there’s no looking back. The problem has got so bad that Netflix and similar counterparts have reported losses of an estimated £0.95billion ($1.2 billion) of revenue. 

The digital revolution is offering a solution to this problem through a form of groundbreaking technology. A form of artificial intelligence is being adopted by the top streaming sites. The technology analyses our viewing activity and specifically looks for unusual viewing patterns, including account details simultaneously being used in multiple locations.

When the AI identifies a guilty account, that user will have two options.

Number one: be blocked from their account until they log out from other locations.

Number two: update to a premium service where multiple screens can be used.

With the amount of money saved from the help of the new technology, hopefully, Netflix will upgrade their movie selection!

Entertainment Shift: from CDs to Streams

The way we shop for music has also experienced a huge shift thanks to the digital revolution.

Where we would once go and buy physical copies of CDs, we now stream songs straight from our phones. Services such as Spotify, Soundcloud and, Apple Music have completely overhauled how we shop for our music.

Spotify released their statistics for 2018 in early December. The artist to take the top spot for streams was hip-hop sensation, Drake. The rapper racked up 8.2 billion streams all on his own. Whilst his album, Scorpion, averaged an incredible 10 million streams per hour following its debut.

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The streaming service industry reported sales of 829.1 million in 2018 which was more than double the same figure two years prior. On the flip side, CD sales fell dramatically to a mere 3.2 million, which is a drop that has not been so low since 2012.

Vinyl Records: Back on Track

Interestingly, a trend of listening to vinyl records has become popular over recent years. In the US alone sales reached 16.8 million, which is a reported 14.6% increase from the previous year.

Whether it be for nostalgia or simply to be trendy, the resurgence of vinyl records has meant the revival of physical copies of music.

According to Forbes, the top ten best selling vinyl records of 2018 were as follows:

  1.  Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol.1 (2014) 47,155 sold
  2. Michael Jackson — Thriller (1982) 46,435 sold
  3. Beatles — Abbey Road (1969) 43,606 sold
  4. Fleetwood Mac — Rumours (1979) 38,874 sold
  5. Prince & The Revolution — Purple Rain (1984) 38,339 sold
  6. Amy Winehouse — Back to Black (2006) 37,753 sold
  7. Tony Bennett & Diana Krall — Love Is Here To Stay (2018) 36,962 sold
  8. Queen — Greatest Hits I (1981) 34,212 sold
  9. Pink Floyd — The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) 33,342 sold
  10. Bob Marley & The Wailers — Legend (1984) 33,191 sold

When analyzing the list, it is apparent that only three of the records were released in the 21st century. Suggesting that listeners are favoring their favorite throwback classics with vinyl rather than the latest hits.

Entertainment vinyl image, No attribution required.

Image by Robin McPherson via Pexels, no attribution required.

As we’ve discussed, entertainment has almost entirely migrated to an online platform. This means that for us, as consumers, we shop for our music and movies in the same way. Businesses such as Netflix and Spotify are thriving, whilst the tradition CD and DVD industry are becoming extinct.

We hope you enjoyed this post, catch you next week!

– Alice x

Check out last weeks infographic here!