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Amazon’s buyout of MGM is an example of film industry’s transformation into a Big Tech monopoly, as Pay TV / DTH are growing along with rapid rise of SVOD. Artists, workers, and the film-watching public suffer the consequences. Discourse around cultural industries has shifted to reflect the interests of media oligopoly, and consolidation of those industries is fundamentally eroding the quality of work and cultural output as millionaire unicorns are able to further exert their privacy loot, smart tweaks and pricing innovation power. Wage gaps along cultural and ideological lines are also increasing, particularly “in industries, occupations and locations where the fastest growth in high-paying jobs are taking place.

Like today’s paid media industry, the entertainment industry is also stumbling: workers are bearing the brunt of the fallout, consumers are being inundated with ads and fat bills, the once vibrant landscape of creativity is being suffocated by a low-risk, IP-exploiting monoculture. The story of the decline of content streaming is a tale of deregulation and big finance’s monopoly capital models, which comes in hard and, when it leaves, trails devastation, as usual.

The promise of creativity, freedom, and decent work in the industry have been slaughtered at the altar of intellectual property milking, worker exploitation, and the race to profit. If you’re subscribed to half a dozen increasingly expensive OTT and digital video streaming services, supported by ads, and filled with intellectual property (IP) / DRM – milking garbage and countless other options that are indistinguishable from one another and from what you got on cable a decade ago.

The film industry have its unions strong, but in the same way that tech companies have taken on workers in other areas, the trends they are fueling in entertainment industry include taking on the unions. Disney, News Corp, Reliance, Sony, Adani, Time Warner, Tata, Google, Zee, Star, Airtel, Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Viacom – now control every major movie, media and broadcast network, and a substantial portion of profitable cable, AI Internet, animation, AVGC, VFX, SVOD and gaming businesses. They were raking in more than 90% of all film revenue and producing more than 95% of prime-time television and OTT.

Oligopolies like Disney are exerting their power over film, gaming and television industries, strictly controlling both new and old catalogues, limiting cinemas’ ability to show classic films. Uses its dominance of box office through its Marvel and Star Wars properties to push increasingly punitive terms on cinemas. Due to its much closer ties with ruling elite, regulating the tech industry and antitrust enforcement is never a policy issue, what’s been missing is a clear focus on advancing racial equity.

Private equity and big corporate giveth capital and they taketh away. They have essentially become arbiters of capital in entertainment industry. Now, as tide turns, we are left with the worst of all worlds, blending content with ads and making so-called interactive ads! With evolution of channels micro-targeting specific consumer groups, the grim scene is becoming worse by the looming specter of artificial intelligence promising more of the same — at best.

The value of IP (intellectual and infrastructure) to these media cum tech giants also shows the need to dismantle the excessive copyright protections on old properties to force companies and big artists to invest in something new with limited cash-cow / ROI benefits, serious ideas to ponder for public Information and Broadcasting policy makers / reps who are really elected democratically to serve the majority consumers!

Can technology be racist? Absolutely, if we allow it to be. A dangerous assumption is that tech is neutral, however, behind every software or app are programmers who has informed their own perspectives and biases. Something as innocent as Google search not only reflects algorithms’ cultural and ideological bias, but also increases its own users’ bigotry. Main issue with new entertainment industry is the lack of emotional intelligence and apathy towards their effect on the community. Smarter digits won’t solve what is, essentially, a human solution. The tech industry can be looked at as focused around solving problems, and if only the problems of one group or class of people are being considered, there are countless other problems and potential solutions not being looked into at all..

Old TV and film players are as much a part of streaming entertainment industry as the agile tech bros are. And they are all profiting from selling the same thing, infinitely. They are incentivized to turn film and television into “commodities” to be traded and hoarded in order to capture subscriptions, which leads to dilution of both quality & vitality for cinematic form.

Ref: https://t.co/HlwLFjuyUN

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