Saturday, October 17, 2009

The End of Quality in Entertainment

In Stephen King's latest column for EW he discusses the future of entertainment, and it's scary stuff:

What's going to happen to books?

E-book downloads now account for only 1.5% of the total market...but that was once true of compact discs, and if you've bought an actual vinyl record lately, you're in very select company. At this writing, best-selling hardcovers have settled at an e-book price point of about $10, but if you think e-book vendors such as Amazon and Sony are making a profit, you would be wrong. That's because the product is sold cheap for the same reason that dope pushers sell the product cheap, at least to begin with: to get you hooked. And if that seems a harsh comparison to you, then you don't understand what every Harry Potter and Twilight reader knows: Good stories are dope [ME: Amen!]. I love my Kindle, but what appears there has (so far) been backstopped by great publishers and layers of editing. If the e-book drives those guys out of business (or even into semiretirement), what happens to the quality? For that matter, who pays the advances? No one I talk to can answer these questions.

At least we aren't doing as bad as radio. Yikes!

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