November 20, 2008

The Death of Pop Culture

Was talking about this with a friend of mine . . .

"Pop Culture" isn't dead yet. But it's starting to flatline.

Its replacement is "niche culture".

Because of the internet, thousands of channel choices through digital television, and

In today's environment, we can never have a Beatles or Bob Dillon or M*A*S*H or Seinfeld or anything like that.

It's a plus and a minus.

On one hand, you can ALWAYS get what you want.

On the other hand, you are NEVER exposed to new things.

So when I have webcomic, if I work hard enough, I'll be able to find the people who are interested in it. But, the chances of a broad audience coming across it are nil. And even if the broad audience happens across it, if it's "not their thing" they won't give it the chance to let it become their thing.

There will always be things like American Idol and Hollywood blockbustsers, because there will always be people with the pockets to put things in front of people and keep them there. But Seinfeld and M*A*S*H, like I said, just don't have a chance to happen again.

Is this a bad thing? I think not. I think this will force artists/creators to work harder at their craft, as they compete for audiences. I think the potential for BETTER works of art on the larger scale is possible.

But the people with more money will have to take less chances.

And the people with less money will have to do more with less.

It's an interesting conundrum.

~ Ben


Abacus said...

Definitely agree... Just finished reading a book called "The Black Swan" that happens to discuss the distribution of book sales in a "scalable" environment. I think this concept applies not just to art/creative pursuits but all types of businesses, etc. The cool thing about what you're doing is that your downside risk is relatively knowable or manageable. But, your upside possibilities are essentially limitless!

Ben said...

Another casualty I just read about:

More on that soon. :)

~ Ben