As economic problems loom ever larger in the lives of us all, it is becoming more apparent that the media landscape needs to change in order to survive. It is doing so to a certain extent, but there is still a way to go if big companies wish to keep up with demand and changing tastes. With the scaling-back of many large publishers, it is clear that the book industry needs to slim down its running costs and embrace a new way of thinking. The same goes for the TV and film industries. This is where New Media comes in, as there are countless people that have been barging ahead and progressing in online culture for years now, and the big guys are starting to try and catch up.
The simple fact is, things can’t go on as they have been doing, and new means of keeping the entertainment industries alive must be explored in full. While some companies will complain that electronic books, mp3s, movie downloads and the like are cutting into their profits due to the lower prices for these types of media, they seem to be missing the point a little.
If someone buys an album in mp3 form, or a movie, or a book, then there is minimal cost in producing the content they download, as opposed to making books, CDs, DVDs, packaging and inserts. It cuts back on the cost of physical storage, pollution, display, advertising and all of the other costs of putting out new material.
While the traditional means of entertainment, be they paper books, magazines, DVDs or whatever will not fade away, for the time being at least these alternative methods of getting the content are proving to be cheaper, more efficient and a positive thing. The choice of digital media is staggering, and growing all the time. Not only that, but the methods with which to enjoy it are improving too, with all kinds of media able to be viewed/used on phones, iPods, handheld devices, ebook readers and home computers.
Many creators are taking note of this, and instead of going the traditional route to getting published or released, are taking the task on themselves. Self-publishing has become much more inexpensive in recent years thanks to Print-On-Demand sites, mp3s have become the new singles, and audiences have a world of entertainment at their fingertips for very little cost.
This year I will be joining in with this movement to a much greater extent, with three books coming out in multiple inexpensive formats (including various FREE versions). Attitudes are changing in the creative world too, in conjunction with the changing nature of the entertainment industry. Less people are expecting to make millions. More people are creating more honest, real content instead of trying to pander to the whims of the mass-market, and many are content to receive very little in monetary reimbursement for their troubles. Much of this great new world of online content is created for the love of creation, not for the love of a sack of cash. So, even in these hard times, maybe we will all benefit from what is on offer.
PS: happy new year to all of my readers! I wish you all the very best for 2009. There's plenty of new stuff to come from me this year: new novel, new anthology, a special edition of my previous book and much more. So, let's get started...