How Netflix & Spotify Changed Consumer Culture

Does piracy have a catastrophic effect on how music, movies, and books are distributed?

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As the cultural economy (music, movies, television, and books) digitized around the turn of the 21st century, many critics worried about severe negative consequences, including declining creative output because of piracy and decreased aesthetic quality. Joel Waldfogel joins Paul and Aaron to discuss why those fears were wrong. Digitization has actually stimulated a renaissance in the cultural economy as both the number and perceived aesthetic quality of film, television, and books have soared. It has been a triumph of technological innovation enabling an expansion of the marketplace for the ultimate benefit of producers and consumers.

Are we overproducing movies because of digitization? Are we consuming culture too fast? Is piracy a customer service problem? Does the business model of Spotify prevent piracy of music? Why did music take such a huge hit from piracy when TV and movies took a much smaller hit in comparison? Do we want ownership of products or the ability to have access to stream of service? Why are people unbundling their cable services? Should we get rid of all copyright?

Further Reading:

Digital Renaissance: What Data and Economics Tell Us about the Future of Popular Culture, written by Joel Waldfogel

How Does Spotify Make Money?, written by Rameez M. Sydeek

Music Piracy Remains a Problem in the Spotify Era, written by Anne Steele

Related Content:

In the Economy of the Future, You Won’t Own Your Kitchen, written by Pamela J. Hobart

Intellectual Privilege, Free Thoughts Podcast

Is Netflix Ruining Culture?, written by Pamela J. Hobart reviewing Joel Waldfogel’s book Digital Renaissance