Showbiz Sandbox 354: Why the Entertainment Industry Should Care About Net Neutrality

February 6, 2017


President Donald Trump’s selection of Ajit Pai to chair the Federal Communications Commission has moved quickly to rollback consumer protection regulations long thought to be settled; specifically net neutrality. Rules put in place to ensure an open internet allowing every company to compete on equal footing could get thrown out for ones that favor four telecom giants. That could mean record labels, movie studios, streaming music and video providers wind up paying much more to reach audiences.

In addition, Pai threw out proposed rules that would have allowed cable subscribers to purchase their set top boxes. Consumers in the United States presently pay $200 or more per year to rent such equipment putting $20 billion annually into the pockets of video providers. Will legislative bodies in other countries take similar stances in the wake of such F.C.C. moves?

This all comes as streaming music revenue has helped slow or reverse years of declining income sales for record companies. Nielsen music reports that streaming platforms provided 38% of total audio consumption in 2016, up from 23% in 2014. In fact, these days a glut of streaming music providers are trying just about everything to differentiate themselves in what has become a crowded marketplace.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Disney’s $100 million anti-poaching settlement with animators, Oprah Winfrey joins “60 Minutes” and which media outlets have backed out of the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.


Super Bowl’s TV ratings slip for the second straight year

comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of February 5, 2017

Third-Party Investigation Finds No Animal Injuries, Cruelty on Set of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’

DGA Awards: The Complete Winners List

‘Lion’ Tops ASC Cinematographer Awards

Annies: ‘Zootopia’ Wins Big With 6 Awards Including Best Animated Feature

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Pulls Set-Top Proposal

FCC Rescinds Claim that AT&T and Verizon Violated Net Neutrality

The FCC is Stopping 9 Companies From Providing Federally Subsidized Internet to the Poor

Here’s Exactly How the Internet Is Now Under Threat

FCC Contact Information

Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Orwell’s ‘1984’ Surges After Trump’s First Week

New Yorker, Vanity Fair Pull Out of White House Correspondents Weekend Events

Study Finds 80 Percent of Female Directors Made Only One Movie in 10 Years (Exclusive)

CBS Sets Radio Division Merger With Entercom

$100M Disney Settlement Signals End of Animators’ Anti-Poaching Fight

IMDb is Shutting Down its Long-Running, Popular Message Boards After 16 Years

Oprah Winfrey to Become ’60 Minutes’ Contributor

RWA Urges ‘NYT’ to Reconsider Bestseller List Decision

Fifth of US Broadband Households Cancel OTT Service in Last 12 Months

‘Hamilton’ Lawsuit Turns Spotlight on Broadway Accessibility

In the Digital Deluge, What Distinguishes One Music Streaming Service From the Other?

Sony Music Earned $1.2BN From Streaming Platforms in 2016

After 15 Years of Decline, France’s Recorded Music Market Returns to Growth

Richard Portman, ‘Star Wars,’ ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Nashville’ Sound Man, Dies at 82


  • mgiltz

    Ok, I know I’m not typical — I own a Victrola and a cache of 78s for pete’s sake. But that makes me feel quirky and different. The fact that I resist getting a streaming subscription and insist on having physical copies or digital downloads of music on my laptop and phone — well that makes me feel like a 90 year old curmudgeon. I feel like I should cave but on the other hand after a solar flare or EMP weapon fries all our computers, you’re gonna beg to borrow my CDs and my 78s!