One of the questions me and my meat-world pals have been debating is what life will be like once we get through this pandemic. Axios’ morning email thingie is also wondering about that:
Media and entertainment: Venerable mediums like television, newspapers and movies are all quickly moving their content to digital formats and online delivery as they struggle to adapt.
- Some weekly newspapers are ending or pausing print editions, and all publishers are ramping up digital operations. “We will look back on these events as a moment at which the newspaper industry’s transition from print to digital accelerated meaningfully,” says Jim Friedlich, executive director of The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, a nonprofit that supports local news and is the owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Television interviews are overwhelmingly being conducted via Skype or other digital channels. There’s been a major uptick in internet video and streaming consumption, per Nielsen. More than a quarter of Americans (26%) are using video streaming services, like Netflix, for the first time, per the Consumer Technology Association.
- Some movie studios, like Universal Pictures, have said that they will for the first time roll out movies to digital audiences at the same time that they make them available in theaters due to the crisis.
Retail: Brick-and-mortar shops that never sold goods online are moving there as stores nationwide shut their doors and customers can’t leave their homes.
This is a story that started a long time ago, and has accelerated in the recent days. My first thought when my friends and I started this speculation is that the CinePlex will not come back. According to IndieWire:
So, on Friday March 20 Universal will push already-opened Focus Features’ “Emma” and horror flicks “The Hunt” and “The Invisible Man” — films with advertising still fresh in consumers’ minds, marooned in theaters that will soon be closed — to VOD, where they can be rented for $19.99 for 48 hours. That price point was calculated as the cost of two movie tickets, said insiders with knowledge. And what better time to pursue this model, as theaters have no leverage and cinephiles are stuck indoors with kids sent home from school?
$20 Ameros for a ticket? They cut out the distributor, etc? You think even for a minute that they are gonna go back to releasing in theaters?
I think we all know that Amazon continues its death march across America’s retail landscape; have you been to a mall lately? Have you been to a department store downtown lately?
Craig’s List, Faceberg, Google, etc., basically destroyed the daily newspapers a decade ago, but now that Americans correctly are not picking up physical papers, the move to digital platforms will complete.
I really don’t see print media coming back — except, ironically, for books:
- Powell’s Books, an iconic Portland independent bookstore, was able to rehire 100 laid-off store employees after a surge of online orders from devoted customers.
I have not seen any news showing a jump in Kindles and the like. Maybe they’ve been a victim of our Very Stable Jenius’ trade wars?
Retail has always been an entry-point to service sector jobs, tho, so what happens to the real economy where real people work is pretty clear: we’re eff’ed in the dark. One of my predictions for how this disease plays out in the real world is that maybe, finally, people will realize that our political split is not Left-vs-Right, it is really Top-vs-Bottom.