On today’s show, The Voice and the Ramblin Phoenix are joined by…a guy that just works here.
Today’s discussion covers how the consumption of comics and other media has changed in the last 20 years.
The Phoenix was recently playing his new Nintendo Switch and realized how many indie games are thriving on the Switch, and these game were initially meant to be played on the PC, but are finding a new life on the hybrid console.
He goes on to talk about how he primarily consumes comics digitally, even though that is not how comics were conceived to be enjoyed.
On the flip side to the new ways of consuming media, there is also a pushback in which older and previously thought defunct ways of consuming media are having a resurgence. For example, even though digital books had a major part in the fall of the big box store, mom and pop bookstores are the most popular they have been for a long time.
The guy who works here, who is a musician, relates his experience of still purchasing physical CDs in a world of digital downloads.
The discussions evolve to discuss how physical comics printing has changed and the resurgence of value. There is a tension between purity of product (i.e a vinyl) vs lower quality but a higher density of a product (i.e. 1000 songs on an iPod).
Manga is brought up as an example of an industry which the change of format (physical to digital) has made the art more popular but because the content is being shared for free the industry is struggling.
The shifts to how iTunes, and later streaming services, changed music industry for better and for worse.
There has been a reaction of these new way of consumption with a new popularity of an older style of consumption be it vinyl, hardcover books, or physical comics.
These new formats, like the rise in audiobooks, have also allowed people to find more of the things they might like more easily.
Somehow, the discussion goes onto an extended discussion topic of fan fiction.
Next up is a discussion about how a new patronage model is appearing and is positivity effect on these industries. In addition, there is a whole new level of personal interaction between artists and consumers.
Ramblin Phoenix then brings up some real history and discusses how people in history reacted to changes in how books were consumed. He then quotes a 16th-century academic who was dubious about how engaging with books would change when they were printed instead of handwritten.
They conclude with final thoughts that this is a new interconnected time of opportunity for artists and how artists might be surprised in the was a consumer chooses to engage with their art.
For more history fun with the Ramblin Phoenix’s check out his history blog: www.historicalperceptions.com