A new era is opening to reinvent entertainment rules. For the music industry it meant shifting revenue streams from selling CDs to selling a unique experience that is to say concert tickets. The Internet provides listeners with near-to-free music through piracy (peer-to-peer file exchanges) or legal streaming (YouTube, Spotify, Deezer). In the same way the movie industry needs to evolve in the face of near-to-free home entertainment, either piracy (illegal streaming or downloading) or legal offers (Netflix, CanalPlay, HBOgo). “Memorable experiences are the ultimate scarcity.” (1) That might be the path to follow for the cinema.
Going to the movie is still a social experience that cannot be replaced by the solitary experience of watching a movie on a computer screen at home.
“We value entertainment ‘events’ that create treasured memories, strengthen personal connections and deliver shared experiences, whether at the movies, in a theme park, or at a sports stadium. This is entertainment that cannot be time-shifted or duplicated; you have to be there, immersed in the moment. An experience is enhanced when shared with others.” (2)
Sharing on the film with the person who came along is one of the joys of watching films. There is a general sift of focus from the “audience” to the “individuals”, individuals being perceived as consumers rather than citizens. According to Dominique Volton “the genius of the entertainment industries is the offer (…), if you create programs according to the demand you betray its prime ambition, which is to gather people in spite of their differences. (…) This is how social bonds are created.” (3) Hannah Arrendt placed a high value into works of art as ways to cultivate social bonds. (4) The entertainment is so valuable because it gives people the opportunity to talk about something they have in common, it creates a momentum and therefore build the society we live in. “[The cinema] can help us think about the modern world through its representations.”(5) Art builds a common world for us to inhabit through shared cultural representations.
(1) Anderson, Chris, 2009, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, Hyperion
(2) Amidi, Amid, “Disney CEO Bob Iger reveals the future of entertainment” July 10, 2014
(3) Interview on France Inter on April 1, 2015 in « L’instant M »
(4) Arrendt, Hannah, 1961, Between Past and Future, The Viking Press, United States
(5) Bousquet, Franck, “Présentation du Site Cinéma & Politique” February 2005 in