March 31, 2020

With movie theaters closed across the country due to coronavirus containment, millions of Americans are streaming video in order to stay entertained. According to analysts, the time spent watching streaming video has steadily increased every week since stay-at-home orders went in place earlier in the month. During a seven-day period in mid-March, viewing sessions on Vizio’s smart TV platform rose by a whopping 40 percent over the previous week. “We’re not just seeing more time spent with streaming and TV, Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 27, 2020

With movie theaters across the world closed due to coronavirus containment, experts predict that the global film industry could lose as much as $15 billion this year. China shuttered more than 60,000 theaters in January right before the annual Lunar New Year holidays, a boom period that usually brings in $2 billion in box office sales. Meanwhile in the U.S., AMC Theatres recently announced that it has furloughed its CEO and corporate staff after the company closed more than 1,000 Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 13, 2020

Due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, representatives from athletic leagues across the globe have announced that they will temporarily halt play. On Wednesday, the National Basketball Association was the first to suspend competition after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positively for COVID-19. The next day, the National Hockey League similarly put games on hold while Major League Soccer delayed the start of its upcoming season as well. Shortly after these announcements, Major League Baseball canceled the Continue reading

Continue reading...

February 27, 2020

On Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger surprised the business world by announcing that he would immediately step down from the top job. After 15 years in charge of the entertainment giant, Iger passed the reins to a company veteran named Bob Chapek who had been overseeing Disney’s theme parks division. Although the news caught many observers off-guard, Iger insists that this plan has been in the works for some time. “It’s only abrupt in other people’s eyes because we haven’t Continue reading

Continue reading...

February 20, 2020

Over the last few years, cable and satellite companies have lost tens of millions of subscribers who have grown tired of seeing their monthly rates steadily rise. In 2019 more than 5.5 million people “cut the cord” with large cable and satellite providers, a huge increase over last year’s loss of 3.2 million customers. As TV companies pay more and more to produce and acquire new programming, they will likely keep raising subscriber rates on an already strained consumer base. Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 17, 2020

2019 was the year that the so-called “streaming wars” got serious. Disney+ and Apple TV+ launched in an effort to compete against Netflix while established broadcasters like NBC and HBO announced that their streaming services would go live in mid-2020. As the streaming marketplace grew increasingly crowded, industry insiders worried that media companies were offering too much content to consumers. According to research by the cable network FX, these fears could prove to be true: last year a total of Continue reading

Continue reading...

December 17, 2019

During December, the Hallmark Channel’s schedule is chock full of Christmas movies to keep the holiday spirit strong throughout the month. But last week the usually jolly TV network behaved more like Ebenezer Scrooge in the eyes of many fans and users on social media. The controversy began when Hallmark received a complaint from an advocacy group whose stated mission is to “fight against indecency.” The organization complained about four ads that featured same-sex couples from a wedding planning company Continue reading

Continue reading...

November 21, 2019

Analysts estimate that last year consumers spent more than $50 billion on virtual items in video games like Counter-Strike and World of Warcraft. This lengthy but highly informative video explains why the market for virtual items has grown bigger than global box office returns for the movie industry. 

Questions:

  1. How are in-game economies similar to real-world economic systems?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of online marketplaces that sell virtual goods?
Continue reading...

November 19, 2019

Thanks to the popularity of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, some lucky musicians can go viral and attract large fan bases very quickly. In the past, artists often had to tour across the country for years playing small clubs before they got noticed by major record labels. That’s not the case these days, though. For instance, the teenage singer-songwriter Billie Eilish released her debut album less than a year ago and has already sold out a stretch of Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 15, 2019

Each year, the toy brand Nerf earns more than $400 million in revenue by selling bright neon “blasters” that shoot rubber-tipped darts. But while the Hasbro-owned company moves plenty of blasters, it has a little more trouble with the darts. Since Nerf’s foam ammo can be easily copied, consumers often opt for cheaper alternatives rather than pay a premium for Nerf-branded darts. “We’ve had the same dart or similar dart for so many years that it’s become uniformed across our Continue reading

Continue reading...