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Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Impact of Streaming Services on the Entertainment Industry


The world of technology, and therefore the world of entertainment, is always evolving, always moving forward, and, if you are a consumer, at least seemingly always changing for the better.

Never before has there been more choices of things to consume and how to consume them, with streaming services arguably being the most recent major shift in how we on planet Earth take in our information and entertainment. Sites like Netflix, Spotify, and Twitch have grown in prominence hugely in the last decade or so, with movies, series, music, and more being at our fingertips like never before. Not to mention in-play sports betting on sites like

But how exactly is the streaming service game-changing the entertainment industry as a whole? And what are the drawbacks to the streaming landscape of today? In this article, we will be tackling those questions, weighing up some of the pros and cons of streaming services across all media forms, and looking at it from the perspective of the consumer and from the creatives who provide the content.

So without further ado, pick up your smartphone, gaming controller, headphones, or what have you, and prepare to learn a little more about how streaming services impact the entertainment industry.

Gaming is now a spectator sport

One of the big shifts of streaming is the rise of video games and video gaming as a spectator sport. Before streaming, gamers on YouTube were a hit already, with detailed playthroughs and tips and tricks given in entertaining video formats. However, with the rise of streaming, particularly the platform Twitch, video games have now become a spectacle to watch live in real-time.

Whether it’s something as slow-burning as a Grand Theft Auto storyline or a Football Manager save, or perhaps something fast-paced like Street Fighter, video game streamers are amongst the most influential streamers out there, a huge shift from when video games were just a pastime to be enjoyed in your own home. 

Content creation is more democratized than ever before

Streaming has allowed creatives to become a platform in their own right. Rather than waiting for a TV series or radio station to commission a creative endeavor, as was the case in the now ‘olden days,’ YouTubers, Twitchers and what have you have very much built their own platform. Combining wonderfully with social media, these influencers are gaining audiences in the millions without the need for television coverage or straight-to-DVD deals.

Of course, the better equipment you have the better your stream will look, but largely, it is more about the personable nature of the streamer and the uniqueness of their content that really dictates the success of a good live streamer. In that sense, the playing field of the entertainment industry has been leveled.

Binge like never before

Gone are the days when a DVD boxset or TV marathon or omnibus was the only way to truly binge a TV series. Netflix and the like have put TV shows at our fingertips, even to the extent that we no longer have to wait for episodes to be released. Sure, sometimes the most hyped series will roll out one episode a week - and there is a beautiful communal experience to watching these shows and reacting on social media at the same time as others - but for the most part, when we want to binge a series we now can.

As you see, this has its positives and negatives, but on a slow Sunday afternoon when it’s raining outside, it is hard to argue that the possibility of binge-watching Dragon Ball is not a good thing. 

The value of music has changed

Fans of music are dealt with one of the sharpest double-edged swords of all when it comes to how the streaming game has impacted the entertainment industry. Gone are the crazy days when you had to head into town to buy the latest CD even just to hear the new album from your favorite artist. You no longer even have to commit to downloading it or settle for the 30 second previews on iTunes. Streaming means we as listeners have access to an infinite catalog of music in seconds.

And yet, on the flipside of this, royalties given to artists per stream are very measly. Spotify pays artists way less than a penny per stream, and even then, record labels typically take the majority share of that fraction of a penny per play. You would have to stream an artist’s album hundreds of times to equal the amount they receive for buying their music and for that reason, the value of music as we know it has changed massively.

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