The internet has completely changed the entertainment sector. You only have to look at the rise of prominent social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok. The likes of which have enabled almost anyone with the right aesthetic or ability to become a viral star by doing something as random as sharing tricks on how to do a French plait.
30 years ago, people had to work their way up through the ranks in order to impress TV executives and earn a spot on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, etc. Nowadays, you can instantly cement your status with an upload from your fingertips, garnering thousands of views in minutes.
The Internet Opens Up New Routes
That’s not to say that traditional routes into the entertainment business are completely closed. However, there are now diversions and different roads to travel. The lines have been blurred by the internet and notions of what’s traditional or, indeed, possible have changed.
Another example of this is the concept of the spinoff. Before the internet, a spinoff was a TV show that took some elements, be they characters or concepts, and turned it into something similar but different. Today, the term spinoff can mean many things.
Due to the phenomenon of multi-industry crossovers, a lot of popular TV shows and films now find themselves being adapted for other markets due to the sheer magnitude of their franchises. For example, if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you can scroll through a seemingly unlimited library of YouTube videos comprised of interviews, backstage footage, and much more.
You can also enjoy the show, or at least some key elements of it, in other forms such as new slots games (of which the Game of Thrones Power Stacks is a prime example). It’s a veritable feast of fun for Game of Thrones fans because it also contains imagery, sound effects, and video clips from the show. Again, it’s a spinoff but not in the traditional sense. It’s an innovation made possible by the internet.
Blurred Boundaries Have Redefined Entertainment
This blurring of boundaries and reconfiguring of the “entertainment industry” is also present in the music industry. You no longer need a record deal with a major label to have a hit. If a singer can attract enough attention on social media, they can rack up thousands, if not millions, of listens on streaming sites such as SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify.
Then, if they’re popular enough, artists can earn money from their music through advertising deals and paid promotions. Even if this isn’t as lucrative or impressive as signing with a record company and going on a world tour, it’s still a credible and easily accessible way for musicians to make a living from doing something they love.
Put simply, the internet has opened up the entertainment industry to more people. It’s democratised it. Even if you don’t follow the traditional routes, you can still become a success. That’s empowering. People don’t have to fit into a standard mould or place their fate in the hands of executives.
Creative types have more control over their own destiny and that’s because they can reach the masses on their own. It may not be a perfect system and there are certainly a lot of subpar products out there because of it. However, there are also a lot of interesting products, ideas, and talented people making an impact because of the internet and the changing face of entertainment.