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The internet and its impact on the way we consume entertainment

| October 07, 2020, 09:34 AM

It’s something most of us use daily and pretty much take for granted. Something we use for work, study, socializing with friends, managing travel bookings, purchasing goods, and entertaining ourselves.

We are, of course, speaking of the internet, the core pillar of the modern information society which connects billions of people across the world and surpasses country borders. As of July 2020, closer to 4.57 billion people globally have access to the internet. To put it in another way, currently, 59 percent of global citizens are active online.

Another interesting fact is that China, India, and the United States are the top countries above all other countries when it comes to internet usage. Regarding internet penetration, a rate that corresponds to the percentage of the total population of a country or region that uses the internet, the countries with the highest rate across the globe are the UAE, Denmark, and South Korea.

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In contrast, North Korea has a nearly non-existent online usage penetration among its population and ranks last internationally. Looking a few years back to 2018, Asia was the top-ranking region with the largest number of online users (over 2 billion) while Europe was ranked second with its close to 705 million internet users.

It’s safe to say that the internet has truly revolutionized the way we work and play and function in the world. This statement rings more true than ever in the world of entertainment where streaming services, e-publishing, and iGaming provide examples of novel ways in which we consume entertainment.

Let’s look.

Gaming industry

Although most casino and card games go way back to ancient times and we as humans have played games for leisure and money for many centuries, the internet has truly transformed the gaming industry.

Way back in the 1990s,  one would have to go to a land-based casino to enjoy a night of glitz and glam and excitement over a game of roulette or poker, these days online options for the same are plentiful.

Currently, land-based casinos are supplemented with online alternatives that enable players across the world to attend international poker tournaments through a smartphone, play free slot games for iPad, or bet on one’s favorite sport on a betting site online through a laptop. The internet has made the gaming world more accessible (traditional casinos are often only available in larger cities), user friendly and inclusive as more players can enjoy its offerings.

Streaming sites

Traditionally we used to hold out for the release of our movies of choice in the theater or wait for the weekly release of our favorite show on TV.

Nowadays, streaming sites such as Netflix, HBO, Disney+, and Amazon Prime have shifted the game entirely. Movies and series are released at a higher rate than ever before; and Netflix reports record profits every year as well as 192.95 million paying streaming subscribers online in the second quarter of 2020.

In the past, films needed to follow the  traditional  Hollywood and festival route to becoming a blockbuster. Now,  popular series such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Crown (all released and produced on or by streaming sites) have proven that series can live up to an equal or even higher quality standard.

The world of music

Before the launch of the internet, music was mainly consumed through the radio, by buying records or watching music channels such as MTV or VH1 on television. However, the internet enabled consumers to have more direct and simplified access to our favorite artists through services such as Spotify and satellite radio.

Spotify contains a vast catalog of various artists, genres, and songs, and the service is available for free (albeit with certain user restrictions and commercials), or via a monthly subscription.

Music videos are mainly watched through YouTube these days and it’s possible to watch them repeatedly if you like. No more waiting for your favorite to come around again in the rotation. Moreover, music is often uploaded by DJs and entertainers on services such as SoundCloud to reach out to a larger international audience. Then, there are services like Twitch where entertainers can go live and interact with their audiences in an engaging way.

But that’s just the beginning. Pretty soon, virtual reality devices are going to revolutionize the way we communicate once again. Just wait!

Severn Bank

Category: Entertainment, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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