The End Of Ownership
September 1, 2016
If you are one of the 50 million Americans that has a Netflix account try to remember the last time you bought a DVD. Odds are, you can’t. Since the debut of Netflix people have been buying less and less movies. Now with other sites offering streaming, such as: Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, Crackle, and Youtube the prediction is, just like VHS before it, that within the next decade DVD’s will be a thing of the past. The difference between what happened to the VHS and what is happening to DVDs is that nothing is on the horizon to replace it as far as ownership goes.
What Do You Mean “As Far As Ownership Goes” Will I Still Be Able To Buy Movies?
As far as a physical copy of the film, most likely not. There are chances that you will still be able to purchase a digital copy but even that is expected to go away. Right now: Apple, Amazon, and VUDU all allow you to purchase digital copies of movies but the expectation is that even those companies will eventually stop offering that service and force you into a streaming service they or only allow you to rent individual movies for a pre-determined amount of time. There reason for this is simple math. They get more money long run by having you pay them a monthly service cost.
Think about it. If your Netflix account cost you say $10 a month. That means you are spending $120 a year for access to movies you will never own. They are banking on the fact that you won’t want to lose that access over the long run and continue paying them forever. Now I know what you are saying, “well $10 isn’t that much a month to have access to all those movies and tv shows, that’s fine I can pay that”. You are right for most people $10 is a great deal for all that get, the problem is that with each streaming company producing their own content is that say your favourite show is Game of Thrones but you only have Netflix. Well now you can’t watch Game of Thrones because that is only on the HBO Streaming. So now you go ahead and purchase HBO for $15 a month. Then you discover a show you like on Amazon and decide get that and then you find a Hulu show and get that too. Now you are paying $10 for Netflix, $15 for HBO, and $10 for HULU. That is $35 a month, which comes to $420 a year with out actually owning anything. It can get start getting quite expensive.
Is This Only For Movies And TV?
Actually no. There are rumors right now that in a few years Apple is going to shut down Itunes and force people in their Apple Music streaming app. So essentially, that would kill off the largest seller of digital music in the world. Now right now Apple isn’t the biggest music streamer, that title goes to Spotify, followed by Pandora but it isn’t hard to see apple catching up fast. What you can expect as music streaming becomes more and more popular that every record label will make individual agreements with streaming services so that their artists will release exclusively on their platform. This means in the future you may only be able to get the newest Beyonce on Tidal, and the newest Taylor Swift on Apple. So now you are stuck in the same situation as you are with TV and Movies. You are stuck purchasing all or missing out.
So What Does This Mean?
Well basically this means that as time and technology move forward the more you spend on art and entertainment the less of it you will actually own. You will be just paying for the rights to enjoy it on a monthly basis and should you lose your job and be unable to pay your anymore then all those years and months or services will amount to nothing and there is nothing you can do to stop it. This is what it means to be in the “Digital Age”.