The Depth of Digital Disruption in the Printing and Live Entertainment Industries

Technology
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The digital age has disrupted every possible industry, starting from the end of the twentieth century onwards. It seems, virtually everything that previously could only be done or experienced from a few designated places can now be done or experienced from anywhere in the world, provided one has access to the internet. Online shopping and playing poker online exemplifies this well.

It is widely believed that digital technology has significantly impacted the printing and live entertainment industries, both of which were declining. Before agreeing to this belief and arriving at a similar conclusion, the impact of digital technology on these two industries needs to be carefully considered.

To understand the impact of digital technology on the printing industry, it is imperative to have a look at how digital technology has influenced the reading habits of different groups of readers. In the case of students, teachers and researchers, there is no significant shift toward digital reading, as they are still keeping books close to their heart. They are using digital technologies only to supplement their knowledge obtained from books.

The next group is leisure readers. Interestingly, most of them are still preferring books over digital media. They use digital media to read only when a hard copy of a book of their interest is not available.

Among travelers who are looking for something to read, many still prefer books, opting to carry them without fail. Interestingly, other commuters who previously never used to read are now starting to do so using digital technologies. And for children, parents invariably prefer to provide books rather than digital media.

Another point to be noted is that since the price of books has diminished (from the initial high levels due to increased competition with the advent of digital media), more and more people are now able to afford books, which, in turn, is boosting the demand for books.

When it comes to the live entertainment industry, it seems like digital technologies have been a blessing. While digital technologies allow speedy, far-reaching and targeted marketing, big data analysis shows it is helping artists to cater to the interests of a specific region or group. These technologies then encourage better footfalls for live performances.

Unlike what was initially feared, live streaming and recording options have never reduced the number of people preferring to watch a live performance. Instead, live streaming and recording have helped art and entertainment to reach the far corners of the world and attract new audiences.

For example, music lovers who previously were hesitating to watch live performances because they had to stand in long queues are now coming out and watching live shows as they can now buy tickets online from the comfort of home. Booking tickets for live entertainment is now as easy as playing Texas Hold ‘Em.

Though digital technologies help popularize live entertainment, due to the ease of access to alternative sources of entertainment, the expectations regarding live entertainment have increased, which is taking a toll on performers. They have been under increased pressure to cater to the expectations of diverse audiences.

Ultimately, the digital disruption in the printing and live entertainment industries is quite significant. However, the good thing is that the disruption, like the one caused by online poker, has been largely positive. And not only have the printing and live entertainment industries benefited from this increase digitization, but the entire human race.

Image source: Wikimedia

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