11 months ago18 views
The Frightful Five Want to Rule Entertainment. They Are Hitting Limits.
One Hollywood executive who has worked often with tech companies told me: “I wouldn’t say we’ve looked at them with fear, no.”
The Five’s struggles in entertainment, if they persist, suggest
that they can be as clueless about the changes wrought by technology as the rest of us — that they do not quite understand, and haven’t yet begun to master, how to translate their technological power into wider cultural power.
Among them were people in the tech industry, as well as many in other power centers: Washington, Hollywood, the media, the health care
and automotive businesses, and other corners of society that may soon be ensnared by one or more of the Five.
YouTube has made every song available online, and even though many artists are paid a cut of the ads placed on YouTube (the
company said it paid out $1 billion last year), the money is nothing close to what artists got from selling records.
Many people fear the companies will be able to translate their hold on key digital platforms into wholesale ownership of adjacent industries
that depend on those platforms, giving them wider economic and social power.
As I’ve argued before, while musicians have had to find new sources of revenue, the rise of online subscriptions
and a new consumer willingness to pay have led to an explosion of new cultural voices.