I’ve been inspired by the Anti-SOPA protests and Clay Johnson’s book The Information Diet to see how my media consumption has changed in the last 5 years. I’m pretty close to a typical consumer, and I do play absolutely by the rules — No ripped DVDs, no pirated content, etc.
Music: $30 (2006) => $150 (2011)
Film: $147 (2006) => $271 (2011)
Games: $294 (2006) => $236 (2011)
Cable: $1,308 (2006) => $828 (2011)
Total: $1,779 (2006) => $1,485 (2011)
Music: Spending went up 400% due to my Spotify subscription. I still buy the same amount of music, but I’ve added a whole new service on top.
Movies and film: 84% increase. Mostly due to streaming. I tend to watch more independent films as they have become far more accessible via streaming options. I rarely go to the theatre now as I find that experience pretty horrifying, overpriced and insulting. But it seems that I’m buying about the same amount of discs, they just cost more today. The few times I’ve been to theaters in the last 5 years have been for 3D films, but even that’s not worth the hassle.
Games: 20% decrease in video game purchases. (This is not counting consoles themselves.) I am happy to report to my investors that I play fewer games now.
Cable: Cutting the cord on Cable TV has allowed me to save almost $300 a year, while increasing my content consumption. I’m lumping TV, Internet and Cable TV together. I cut Cable TV and kept only the Internet portion a few years back and that accounts for the 37% decrease. I mostly use over-the-air antennae, Hulu, and other streaming services for my TV content. Given how much less I pay now to the cable companies, I can see why they are fighting so hard against net neutrality.
The bottom line: I have at least $300 a year in disposable entertainment spending available, but Hollywood is not working hard to take my money. They are too focused on making the new radio illegal. For example, I would pay far more per person than a movie ticket to have access to just-released movies via a HD stream at home. It’s technically easy to do, but that’s just not available.
So, Hollywood, will you please give me something to spend my money on?