Showbiz Sandbox 274: Cord-Cutting Has Never Been Easier, or More Expensive

Cord-cutting has been a growing fear of the television industry for many years. The terrifying possibility that consumers will give up their expensive cable bundles in lieu of online streaming is quickly becoming a reality as numerous services have sprung up to provide over-the-top options. Unfortunately none of these services offers access to all the major networks forcing viewers to spend just as much, or even more, to see all their favorite programs.

When you start adding up the cost of subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu along with newcomers such as Dish Networks Sling TV and HBO Now, cutting the cord may not be the cost savings everyone has been hoping for.

Meanwhile, the music industry has been undergoing its own struggles as existing revenue models have been upended by digital distribution. Last year marked the first time that streaming music earned more than the sale of music on compact discs. This has led to a rallying cry from industry trade groups for artists to be fairly compensated regardless of the platform on which their music is accessed.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including how female moviegoers are driving this year’s box office, why John Williams won’t be scoring Steven Spielberg’s next movie and the new math formula determining whether Madonna’s recent release is the top selling album of the week.

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At the Box Office, It’s No Longer a Man’s World
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/23/business/media/at-the-box-office-its-no-longer-a-mans-world.html?_r=0

China’s Huayi Bros. Signs 18-Movie Deal With Secret U.S. Company
http://variety.com/2015/film/news/chinas-huayi-brothers-sign-18-movie-deal-with-secret-u-s-company-1201454003/

Universal Music Settling Big Class Action Lawsuit Over Digital Royalties
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/universal-music-settling-big-class-783096

‘We Need to Limit Free’: Major Labels Begin to Question Spotify Model
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/major-labels-question-free-model-20150320

RIAA Report Shows Streaming And Vinyl On The Rise In US While Recording Industry Dips
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/03/streaming-and-vinyl-on-the-rise-in-us-while-recording-industry-dips.html

Cary Sherman on RIAA’S New 2014 Music Revenue & Shipment Data
https://www.riaa.com/news_room.php?content_selector=riaa-news-blog

On the Charts: ‘Empire’ (Barely) Reigns Over Madonna
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/on-the-charts-empire-barely-reigns-over-madonna-20150318

John Williams Not Scoring Spielberg Film for First Time Since 1985
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/john-williams-not-scoring-spielberg-782832

Sony Will Make ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ Into a Film
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/sony-will-make-beautiful-the-carole-king-musical-into-a-film/?_r=0

‘Hamilton’ Off to Hot Start at Broadway Box Office
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/hamilton-off-to-hot-start-at-broadway-box-office/?_r=0

Russell Simmons Plans Musical on Early Days of Hip-Hop
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/russell-simmons-plans-musical-on-early-days-of-hip-hop/?_r=0

Hulu Grabs ‘Empire’ Exclusive Streaming-Video Rights
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/hulu-grabs-empire-exclusive-streaming-video-rights-1201456066/

‘Empire’ Finishes Unstoppable Season With More Growth
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-empire-finishes-unstoppable-783023

Atria Halts Publication of ‘The Whole Pantry’
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/cooking/article/65916-atria-halts-publication-of-the-whole-pantry.html

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Starring in ‘Fraggle Rock’ Movie
http://variety.com/2015/film/news/joseph-gordon-levitt-fraggle-rock-1201456256/

Suddenly, Plenty of Options for Cord Cutters
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/business/media/streaming-tv-cord-cutting-guide.html

Sony’s PlayStation Vue Is Introduced in 3 Cities
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/business/media/sonys-playstation-vue-is-introduced-in-3-cities.html?_r=0

Apple Plans Web TV Service in Fall
http://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-in-talks-to-launch-online-tv-service-1426555611