Undoubtedly, the internet has revolutionized the movie and the entertainment industry in general. It has become very easy for one to access most of the movies in the internet. Initially, movie distribution used to be a reserve of the creators and their agents. This ensured that almost all the gains from them went to the main stakeholders. The main limitation of this was the limited audience reach. The high distribution costs also limited the extent to which they could be supplied. The result was that some markets remained unexplored, thus maximum returns were not derived from the sales.
However, with the advent of the internet, things have taken another turn. Virtually everybody has access to all these Hollywood movies and other products. The distribution costs are very low, almost insignificant compared to the total costs. The speed at which such materials are distributed is also high. This is brought about by the lack of distribution laws by digital means (Levine, 2011). This has seen an increase in the cases of piracy in the world. Pirates who supply original movies illegally at low or no cost have sprung up. Companies such as Google and the YouTube avail materials for downloading to their customers, regardless of whether it is legal or not. Other companies that supply gadgets that include phones and tablets have also been in the front line to increase accessibility of movies and music. This is motivated by the desire to increase the market for their products.
The audience reach has immensely increased as majority of people can access the internet. The advent of self-produced DVDs has also increased the audience for movies. Instead of buying the original DVDs as it used to be, people just burn movies into blank CDs (Cavalier, 2005). A single movie can end up in the hands of many consumers in a very short span of time. Instead of having specific distributors of such, everybody has become a potential supplier. While this has the advantage of reaching many consumers, it has a negative impact on the creators. Filmmakers who invest so much in making movies end up incurring losses. They at times cannot recover their investments in the films. This, if not checked has the potential of driving scores of them out of business.
A large number of people and groups would not otherwise have found audience if it were not for the internet. People who offer various services and supply certain products have publicized themselves through this means. Young and upcoming musicians, actors and comedian have also greatly benefited. Majority use the internet as a penetration strategy to introduce themselves to the audience. Pastors and religious leaders are not been left behind. In this era of techno-savvy people, it is not hard to find people attending church service from their homes. Sermons are recorded and uploaded on YouTube and other sites from where those targeted retrieve them.
Many organizations have come up with projects to benefit others through the internet. Kiva is a good example of such. Good causes are promoted through this medium with good results. Kiva, for example connects lenders to borrowers across the world to alleviate poverty. This is easy to achieve given the large audience reach of the internet. Such causes are noble and many people will be willing to support them. In my opinion, what Kiva is doing is good. Many people out there are able and willing to help. At the same time, there are those in need of help. Kiva, by creating the link between these two groups has played a crucial role in solving the problem. Many people should be sensitized about the existence of such opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life. Together we can make such activities a success.
Cavalier, R.J. (2005). The impact of the internet on our moral lives. Albany, N.Y. : State
University of New York Press
Levine, R. (2011). How the internet has all but destroyed the market for films, music and
newspapers. The guardian. Retrieved 5 Oct 2012
http://www.kiva.org/start retrieved on 5th October 2012