LA Times: Hollywood is losing race with zeitgeist

Posted by: Tedconfjune

You don’t have to be an industry insider to know that media habits are changing. But in case you missed the warning signs, today’s Los Angeles Times gives it to you straight. Hollywood, the headline declares, is “in a losing race with the zeitgeist.” Box office sales are down; DVD sales are down. “The era of moviegoing as a mass audience ritual is slowly but inexorably drawing to a close.”

It’s hardly a new story, of course; we’ve been talking about it at TED for years. But it’s now playing out in real-time: Digital technologies — from Tivo to the iPod to always-on internet connections — are causing a sea change in Hollywood, as people individualize their entertainment experiences. And this trend will only accelerate once Tivo users can download programs to their iPods (a plan announced yesterday). As the L.A. Times points out, “Hollywood needs a new mindset, one that sees a movie as something that comes in all shapes and sizes, not something that is wedded to the big screen.” The same could be said for all media, from newspapers to record labels. You can’t fight the zeitgeist.

Comments (2)

  • June Cohen commented on Nov 23 2005

    News item today, along these lines: Partnership announced between the Motion Picture Association and peer-to-peer file-sharing behemoth BitTorrent. From Variety:

    Is Hollywood finally ready to embrace file-sharing? Signaling an openness to creating a legitimate business via peer-to-peer technology, MPAA topper Dan Glickman announced Tuesday the first stage of a potentially significant partnership with BitTorrent, the world’s most popular program for illegally downloading movies and music online.

    The alliance obviously signals an intensifying crackdown on internet piracy, but also (hopefully) a recognition of the potential in internet-based distribution. Full story on Variety (requires log-in). Also: Hollywood Reporter | San Jose Mercury News

  • June Cohen commented on Nov 23 2005

    And in music news: iTunes now outsells Tower Records, Sam Goody and Borders, among others. Though it still accounts for only a small portion of overall sales, it made the US sales Top-10 list for the first time.

    BBC: iTunes ‘outsells’ US music stores