Is Streaming Video/Music Economically Unsustainable?

Jazz critic Ted Gioia has some tweets about how streaming services are “the black hole of the entertainment business.”

I’ve updated my quick and easy guide to streaming economics—the black hole of the entertainment business.https://t.co/7AXsrUgB0E— Ted Gioia (@tedgioia) March 13, 2019

His basic point is that streaming services lose, and continue to lose, a lot of money, and I assume he thinks this won’t change. At the very least, Gioia doesn’t seem to believe that streaming model will be able to support the making of movies, TV shows, and music. Equally dispiriting is the notion that musicians are getting even less revenue from streaming services (less than money they’d get from the traditional recording industry). That really sucks. I really don’t want to pay for a service where the musicians and artists don’t really get far less than they deserve (which, actually seems to have always been the case, but this is going in the wrong direction). Should serious music fans consider purchasing music in a traditional way (e.g., cds, records), and, even better, from the musicians themselves?

Another question: Why can’t artists ever take control of the distribution so that they can receive the majority of the profits?

Christians Don’t Have a Cultural Economy

Dr. Russell Moore, is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and he has a podcast, Signposts. I recently listened to one with Timothy Keller, who I believe is a pastor and author. They discussed two topics that I found interesting–moral ecology and a cultural economy. Briefly, moral ecology involves a moral system or environment people operate or grow up within. Keller mentions three components–moral teaching, moral discourse, and moral examples. Studying the Bible, discussing concrete applications in real life, and parents modeling the behavior would all be examples of this, respectively. Keller says that if Christians go to church once a week, but during the rest of the engage in discourse from largely secular sources and/or don’t have individuals modeling a Christian world view, then individuals developing a Christian worldview and character will be almost impossible. (I’m paraphrasing him, so what I’m saying may not accurately reflect his views.)

Keller than briefly mentions cultural economy. Here, he mentions academia, the arts, journalism, and business all working together to produce a certain world view and values. His point is that Christians really don’t have a cultural economy–or at least not a very strong one. There are Christians in academia, the arts, journalism, and business, but do they all produce a strong type of cultural economy?

Here are some questions I’d like to explore:

  • Should there be a strong cultural economy in the U.S.? Continue reading “Christians Don’t Have a Cultural Economy”
  • Alternatives to Horse Race Coverage of Elections

    In case you haven’t seen. My thread with reactions and pushback from journalists who cover politics. ⚡️ “Election coverage in 2020 is on track to be even worse than 2016” by @jayrosen_nyuhttps://t.co/NtQ07El3lF— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) February 10, 2019


    This thread is to discuss alternative ways to cover a presidential campaign–specifically avoiding emphasis on the horse race, which candidates are ahead versus behind, and the analyzing the strategy and tactics the candidates employ to win the contest.

    Rosen mentions going to voters to find out what they want to hear the candidates adddress, and build the coverage around these concerns. I like the idea, and I will respond to some of the other concerns that Rosen raises, but I want to start by discussing an approach that I’ve longed favored.

    In addition to covering the the issues that the candidate and voters care about, including the policies favored by the candidate, I’d like to see the press evaluate whether the candidates have the attributes that good president’s possess. To do this the press should first identify the qualities that most good presidents seem to possess, seeking the help of historians, former presidents, white house aides, etc. Once the press identifies these qualities, they can then seek ways to analyze the candidates based on whether they have these attributes or not. Here, the press would work like an employer doing research on a potential employee.

    One way the press could do this is creating a chart for each candidate. As the campaigns progress, the journalists can gather information and fill in the chart. Maybe at the start of campaign there will be many unknowns about the candidates–the journalists may be uncertain about certain attributes–e.g., knowledge, character, leadership, negotiating skills, etc. Over the time voters will see these charts fill up as journalist collect more information.

    On a related note, part of the candidates’ profiles can include the overall governing philosophy of the candidate. What is their political philosophy and ideology? How was it formed? What are some expressions of this philosophy? I care about this as much, if not more, than their specific policy proposals.