This Week: Is the music industry’s piracy war really about higher royalty payments?… There are signs the Golden Age of TV might be ending… Theatre’s emotional toll on actors… LA as the next great center of contemporary music… Europe’s tourist glut is damaging its great cities.
- Piracy Or Pay? The Music Industry’s Latest War: The music industry is complaining that rampant piracy is still a big issue. But the issue is more complicated than simple theft of product. Looking at where the industry makes its money is revealing. As streaming becomes a larger piece of total revenue, the music industry has realized that its compensation from streaming is too low. And declining. So now the industry is going after the platforms that carry its music in an effort to get more. This Fast Company story is a good primer on the stakes.
- Is The Golden Age Of Television Coming To An End? There are signs. It used to be that it was safe to pooh pooh TV as a wasteland. And then – for a variety of reasons – TV was suddenly the place for creative artists to make their mark. Over the past decade some of the best storytelling has been done in serial drama series. But there are signs the steam is running out of TV drama as an art form. Matt Zoller Seitz writes in New York Magazine: “Every revolution has casualties. In this one, it’s the hour-long, serialized drama that unveils its story over multiple seasons, and that fueled the so-called Golden Age of serious-minded, scripted TV; a form that, until recently, moved the needle on TV as an art form and dominated the cultural conversation. When discussing the serial drama in 2016, you can feel a sense of fatigue settling in.” And because so much TV is now being made – a greater supply of U.S. television than can be profitably produced, the industry is “ballooning into a condition of oversupply” that will likely peak in the next two years and then slowly deflate.
- Theatre Is An Emotional Roller Coaster: For audiences, sure, when the play is good and connects. But consider the actors who have to emotionally become the characters they’re playing. “It’s a highwire act, live performance, the psychological stresses of which one medical study has likened to ‘a small car crash’. That might explain the adrenaline rush actors feel immediately after coming off stage, and the strange hangover that can come the next day.” Kate Fleetwood, Michelle Terry, and Ben Miles tell what it’s like.
- Is There Any Place That Could Be Called A Center of Contemporary Music? Maybe LA? Over the past decade Los Angeles culture has become more and more interesting as numerous art forms have been energized by the interplay of cultures and substantial investment by the region in its arts. As for music: “A grassroots new music community (or as ‘grassroots’ as anything which is tied to higher education can be) is in a true dialogue with the larger artistic culture, and the promise of the LA Philharmonic to make Los Angeles a contemporary musical destination seems to have finally taken root. An LA aesthetic has emerged, and I can’t help but notice a bit of pioneering Wild West in the raucous brew.”
- Cheap Airfares Are Remaking Europe’s Great Cities: Mobs of tourists clog every major city, on weekends particularly, powered by cheap flights and Airbnb. Der Spiegel reports that while the money they spend is welcome in the local economy, the crush of flesh is changing the character of even Europe’s largest cities. “The conditions German writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger warned against in his treatise ‘A Theory of Tourism’ almost 60 years ago are becoming reality. Enzensberger argued that travelers, through their mere presence, threaten or destroy what they are actually seeking: originality and local color.”